ATI Goes for Organic Agriculture

BACOLOD CITY--- As the extension and training arm of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) held a trainers' training that aimed to promote organic agriculture in the country.
Based on the Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala tasked the ATI to lead in the implementation of organic agriculture extension, information, trainings and education activities in the country. 

Hence, some 90 representatives from the Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Units and focal persons from ATI participated in the Training of Trainors on Organic Agriculture, with the first batch held on September 5 to 9, 2011 and the second on September 12 to 16, 2011 in this City.  Specifically, the activity aimed to enhance the knowledge and skills of the participants on organic agriculture and related topics on practices; production technology; promotion and marketing and other topics relative to organic agriculture.
With the said training, the participants were able to appreciate the importance of organic agriculture as a sustainable farming system; and understand the legal basis and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act 10068, including the certification standards and other principles and components related to it.
A demonstration on various agriculture practices such as preparation of bio-organic inputs, Natural Farming System (NFS), vermicomposting, stellar farming and permaculture highlighted the activities during the training. Also during the training, the participants developed strategies for the effective promotion and marketing of organic products and an action plan for their succeding activities in  organic agriculture.
A visit on an existing organic agriculture farm in the suburbs made the participants realized that raising organic farm is important not only for the advancement of the country`s agriculture sector, but for the farmers` reduction costs on agricultural materials, other than a healthy lifestyle for the Filipino people.  (Beatriz A. Yanga with reports from Nemielynn P. Pangilinan)