The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Region 12 has allotted P21.7 million for the continuous propagation and expansion of organic farming in Soccsksargen region.
Enriqueto Natividad, DA’s regional technical director for Research and Regulations, said that they have increased this year’s budget for organic agriculture to P21.7 million from P16.52 million in 2012.
Natividad said that, the mandate is in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 10068, or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, which institutionalized the adoption and propagation of organic agriculture in the country.
The national government, through the DA aspires to convert 5 percent of the total agricultural land to organic.
With the said budget allocation, Natividad, who at the same time is the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) Focal Person, said the regional office had efficiently utilized the money to adhere to the mandates of the RA 10068.
He said DA Region 12 OAP Team conducted series of briefings and orientation to the remaining 33 local government units aimed at helping them form a Municipal Organic Agriculture Board (MOAB).
In the occasion of Farmers’ Heart Day and Ulat sa Bayan on February 11, OAP distributed three units of 1.5 ton capacity shredder and three units of bag closer to the local government units of Kidapawan City, General Santos City and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.
“We also provided funds to develop frontage of stations such as in Balindog and Tupi Roses as organic techno demo sites,” he added.
In the region, there are four units of organic trading posts being established in the towns of Midsayap and Tulunan in North Cotabato; Surallah in South Cotabato and Tacurong City.
Recently, in DA 12’s Ulat sa Bayan on May 8 to 9, 2013, OAP turned-over four units of multi-cultivator with trailer to the local government of Koronadal, GenSan, Columbio and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist-South Cotabato.
The team is also set to provide livelihood assistance to organic practitioners in the region.
James Konstantin Galvez