Group urges new agri chief to pursue organic farming


Posted at Jul 01 2010 08:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2010 04:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A non-government organization is urging newly-appointed Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to continue pushing for organic farming as a key component to achieve sustainable agriculture.

Alcala, handpicked by President Benigno Aquino III to head the Department of Agriculture is a strong advocate of organic farming.

Formerly the second district Representative of Quezon, Alcala was one of the main proponents of the Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 that was signed into law earlier this year.

“We believe that the gentleman from Quezon deserves the opportunity given him to be the country’s food czar,” Roland Cabigas, a convenor of Go Organic! Philippines and managing director of La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) said.

The group said Alcala can strike a balance between food security and the need for low-carbon development in agriculture, through the shift to organic farming, taking into account the urgent need to address the challenge posed by global warming and climate change.

“Organic farming will greatly benefit both the consumers, in terms of healthier food, and farmers in terms of increased income and safer working environment without necessarily compromising food security,” Cabigas said.

Aquino's marching orders from Aquino include starting the repair and rehabilitation of existing irrigation facilities, providing more subsidy to farmers in the form of seeds and fertilizers, establishing more trading centers nationwide, and making food more affordable and more accessible. - Rocel Felix,