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5 Bohol farms compliant with organic standards

CORTES, Bohol, May 20  (PIA) -- Five Bohol organic farms that are largely into organic crop production earned their  Participatory Organic Certificates from the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) after their commodities were found to be compliant with the Philippine National Standards in Organic Agriculture.

Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people and relies heavily on ecological processes, biodiversity, and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.

Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life for all involved.

The five certified organic farms and their owners form the core group of future local organic farm commodity certificating team as the Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) was introduced as an amendment of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, which requires the costly and lengthy third-party certification that “discriminates” the small farmers needing organic certification.

Of the five farms, four are Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSA) cooperators of the Agricultural Training Institute 7 (ATI-7) based in Bohol, according to Doris Isabel Racho, ATI information officer.

Passing the BAFS Inspection for organic commodity certification are Rona Denque of Green Thumb Farm in Sambog, Corella for her mushrooms, Emmanuel Gamonez for Green Gardens of Hope in San Roque Balilihan for crop production, processing of organic soil amendments, and agricultural inputs in organic plant supplement.

Gamonez also happens to be the first organic agricultural input processing that is certified by the BAFS in Central Visayas, according to ATI.   

Also passing the PGS certification for organic farming is Jomer Balag of Jolits Eco-Garden and Integrated Farm in Cambacay Batuan for his crop production in vegetable crops, fruit crops, plantation crops, root crops and herbs and in beekeeping for his honey and bee colony.

Marilou Escalona of Egay’s Farm in Bingag, Dauis is also among the five certified organic producers for the farm’s crop production and animal production, while Efrenia Holt of Atbang Farm and Forest Food has been certified for their organic crop production and cacao processing.   

With this, ATI7 congratulated the four LSA cooperators of the five core group members, who not only passed the PGS organic certification but would also lead the Bohol Participatory Guarantee System Association (BPGSA) in granting local certificates to farms that pass the BAFS to also get their Participatory Organic Certificates (POC).

The POC is an attestation that the group and its listed commodities have been inspected by the BAFS and found in compliance with the current Philippine National Standards (PNS) for Organic Agriculture, ATI said in a statement.

Before its confirmation, each core group member underwent pre-inspection and evaluation that would qualify them for final inspection.

According to ATI, BPGSA is the second in the region to receive the POCs after the Organic Farmer-Practitioners Association (OFPRAB) of Bayawan City in Negros Oriental which was already Philippine Guarantee System (PGS) accredited, effectively earned its POC on Feb. 27, 2023.

After the POC, the BPGSA can now apply for PGS Organic Certifying Body, and once approved, they can likewise certify other organic farmer members in the province of Bohol. (RAHC/PIA Bohol with reports from ATI7)

Certified under the Philippine National Standards in Organic Agriculture, the Atbang Farm’s tableya can now be sold with legal claim of being truly organic, which can now sell with premium price due to its natural and organic value. (PIA Bohol/Efrenia Holt)

About the Author

Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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