National conference approves proposed organic road map

The Philippine Organic Road Map was recently endorsed to Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS), a policy making body that oversees the development of organic agriculture in the Philippines, during the 3rd National Organic Conference held in Baras, Rizal last 6-7 December.

The conference was attended by over a hundred representatives from various government agencies, private sector groups, civil society and farmers’ organizations, academic institutions, local government units.

Termed as the “Road Map”, this strategic plan envisions implementation of sectorally reinforcing and mutually complementing approaches geared towards the development of a viable, sustainable and globally competitive Philippine organic agriculture industry.

The development of the plan is quite timely as the passage of Executive Order 481 entitled the Promotion and Development of Organic Agriculture in the Philippines mandated the creation of the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP), said Jerry Pacturan, Executive Director of the Philippine Development Assistance Programme (PDAP), a Philippine-based non-government organization working on poverty reduction and peace building initiatives.

This plan articulates the perspectives of various stakeholders on some of the critical issues and concerns as well as the current industry assessment of the Organic Industry generated from the series of consultations done nationwide by local partners of the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines.

Moreover, the strategic plan documents the recommendations and mitigating measures addressing the weaknesses and threats besetting the Industry.

Program components include interventions on Regulations and Guidelines, Certification and Accreditation, Market Promotion and Networking, Information on Organic Agriculture for Producers, Handlers, and Processors and Research, Development, and Extension.

This unifying agenda covers a three year action plan covering the period from 2007 to 2010.

Implementation of NOAP will be undertaken by the NOAB and the National Technical Committee (NTC) composed of representatives from the public and private sector.

After the program duration, impact of interventions will be measured in terms of the level of production, product integrity and global competitiveness, sustainable resource management and partnership development and collaboration.