Join Forces to boost livelihoods of organic smallholders in the Philippines

Joined forces to boost livelihoods of organic smallholders in the Philippines Goesean county, South Korea, 19. September 2019 – Today the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities of the Philippines (LOAMC-PH) units about 140 municipalities/cities with the strong commitment to support the development of organic farming at local level. Its vision is to “Eliminate Hunger, Poverty and Sickness of the Citizens in the Philippines through Sustainable Organic Agriculture Investment Master Plans in Family Farms and Municipalities and Cities and mobilization of societal key stakeholders from Governments, Business and Civil Society Organizations” and Naturland is one of the major international associations for organic agriculture worldwide. Along with 65,000 farmers, beekeepers, fish farmers and fishers in 58 countries throughout the world. Naturland pioneers the development of organic, social and fair food chains worldwide. Naturland gives thousands of local producers a voice at international level in a globalized world. Signed a cooperation agreement during a ceremony at the International Summit on Agricultural Policy organized by IFOAM Asia. The cooperation agreement set out a concrete cooperation frame to support the development of organic farming and smallholders throughout the Philippines. “We are very glad about joining forces with Naturland as they are a true pioneer and one of the largest organic farmer association worldwide”, says Arnado Rommel, President of LOAMC-PH”. We look forward to strengthen ties between both organizations and benefit from their long experience in organic technical knowledge, smallholder certification systems and organic value chain development”. “Together, we seek to improve livelihoods of many organic smallholders in the Philippines helping them to get out of poverty and hunger. Naturland is proud to be a cooperation partner of the organic municipalities and cities in the Philippines and to contribute developing organic farming wherever we can”, added Marco Schlüter, International Development Manager of Naturland. The cooperation agreement outlines the commitment of both partners to work together to develop organic food and farming in the Philippines, implement common projects, training and market development. Ends

For more information please contact:

LOAMCP: Hon. Rommel C. Arnado loamphilippines@gmail.com

Phone: +63 (0)917-314-7836

facebook: Loamcp Phils/www.loamc-ph.org

Naturland: Bärbel Sagi, Public Relations International b.sagi@naturland.de,

Phone: +49 (0)89 898082-30

Farm-Sci NASSA: Where it all started

Farm-Sci NASSA: Where it all started

Farm-Sci NASSA “Farmers and Scientists Network for the Advancement of Smart Sustainable Agriculture”

Solution Ecosystems Activator, Inc. believes that scientific research and knowledge is vital to promote sustainable agriculture. There may be an increasing number of organic agriculture scientists in the Philippines because of the passage of Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 that authorize the Department of Agriculture to fund the Organic farming research in the country.

In advancing sustainable agriculture in the Philippines, a countrywide network of organic agriculture scientists and farmers has been formed. The idea of its organization was one of the top priorities identified by scientists themselves during the research phase of Smart Agriculture Project (SAP) of Life Bank Foundation.

As cited in the Smart agriculture book of LBF “these scientists are working in isolation of each other. There is often redundancy while large areas of strategic research that are directly useful to farmers are neglected”. Thus, the idea of establishing a network of organic farming scientist is necessary and the research findings of these scientists can be directed to the organic farmers.

The mission is to harness the synergistic effects of converging diverse stakeholders at multi-dimensional realities (earthly and spiritual) and disciplinary levels including the latest findings of the second and more spiritual scientific revolution for societal good.

The network serves as the local, national and global portal for sharing of information, collaboration, exchanges of best practices, sharing of inspiring stories and also mainstreaming of and training in body of organic farming knowledge including quantum agriculture, scientific facts and explanation about organic farming and indigenous knowledge systems.

The network has a unique structure. The General Assembly (GA) of all members is the ultimate decision-making body of the Network. The GA designates the Council members and the latter will elect among themselves their set of officers. The Council has a mandate for the operational decisions which will be consulted the GA for the potential new policies to be made. Also there is a Network Secretariat that supports the Council in the executing the latter’s responsibilities.

With the primary goal of the Network in building right character as foundation, ongoing workshops in improving and strengthening the inner condition of Network members is mandatory. This is in line with the Network members’ identified motto, “The success of the Network depends on the Inner Condition of the Network”.

The goal and objectives that the Network members chose to pursue in achieving its Mission, gives the Network its identity and unique character.

SOLUTIONS FOR SCALING UP AGROECOLOGY

12th September 2019, 10:30 – 16:00h, Heliopolis University, Egypt

Transitioning to sustainable food and agriculture systems is critical to tackle malnutrition, social injustice, land degradation, water scarcity, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and agroecology plays a key role therein. In 2018, the World Future Council awarded, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, exemplary policies that scale up agroecology, and recognized, in collaboration with the Startup Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS), effective practices that empower small-scale food producers. At this event we take a closer look at these World Champions that advance the much needed transformation of our food systems. Moreover we will discuss, together with renowned experts, especially solutions from Africa and the Global South that scale up agroecology.

Objectives

  • Present and discuss exemplary policies and practices for land, soils and livelihoods
  • Raise awareness on these outstanding solutions in Africa and the Arab world
  • Create synergies between policymakers of international organisations (FAO, IFAD, etc.) and national stakeholders (Ministries, Member of Parliament, development actors, civil society, academia and media).

Background

In 2018, the World Future Council awarded with its Future Policy Award exemplary policies that scale up agroecology, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of the Sekem Group (Egypt), DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade and Green Cross International. The “100% organic state” Sikkim, in India, won this year’s “Oscar for best policies”, beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) took home Silver Awards. Honourable Mentions were given to programmes from Los Angeles (USA), Ndiob (Senegal) and to Kauswagan (Philippines), whilst the Future Policy Vision Award went to the path-breaking TEEBAgriFood Initiative. Furthermore, in early January 2019, the World Future Council recognized Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019, in collaboration with the Startup TAGS. In total, fifteen effective practices were highlighted that empower small-scale food producers and nurture sustainable food production systems. Among the recognized best practices are the Sekem Initiative (Egypt), Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (developed in Niger) and many more. Moreover, the event gathers renowned experts on agroecology and includes further award-winning practitioners, among them SAPPROS from Nepal and Biovision from Switzerland. All these solutions demonstrate that with appropriate will and an adequate approach the transition towards sustainable agriculture and food systems can be achieved, a transition that ensures healthy food for all, that overcomes social and economic inequalities and that protects our environment, climate and biodiversity. It is now the time to make them worldwide known and to get inspired.

AGENDA

I. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

10:30 – 11:00 Reception with drinks

11:00 – 11:15 Music offered by the Sekem Musicians & Welcome Address, Helmy Abouleish, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University

11:15 –11:20 Welcome Address, Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the World Future Council and CEO, Schweisfurth Foundation

11:20 – 11:25 Welcome Address, Uwe Gehlen, First Counsellor, Head of German Development Cooperation in Egypt

11:25 – 11:35 Address, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Soliman, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Egypt

11:35 – 11:50 Keynote Address, Dr. Jean-Marc Faurès, Regional Programme Leader, FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa, Cairo, Egypt: Transforming Food and Agricultural Systems in Support of the SDGs: The Key Role of Agroecology

11:50 – 12:00 Open Discussions

II. THE FUTURE POLICY AWARD 2018 CHAMPIONS

12:05 – 13:30 Panel Discussion “World Champions Scaling up Agroecology”

Moderator: Helmy Abouleish, CEO of Sekem Group; and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University, Egypt

Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director, World Future Council: The Future Policy Award 2018: Scaling up Agroecology

Poppe Braam, Founder, DO-IT Dutch Organic International Trade, the Netherlands: Why scaling up agroecology is vital: DO-IT, its support for smallholder farmers and the Future Policy Award

Dr. Rama Mani, Councillor, World Future Council; and Founder of Theatre of Transformation Academy: The Future Policy Gold Award Winner 2018: The “100% organic state” Sikkim, India

Thais Corrall, Councillor, World Future Council; Co-founder, Women’s Environment and Development Organization; and Founder of Sinal do Vale: Future Policy Silver Award Winner 2018: Ecuador-Quito’s Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme

Prof. Herbert Girardet, Honorary Councillor, World Future Council; Consultant to UNEP and UN-Habitat; and Author: Honourable Mention of the Future Policy Award 2018: Senegal-Ndiob’s Vision to Become a Green and Resilient Municipality and Agriculture Development Programme

Prof. Dr. Atef Abd El-Aziz Hassan Ragab, Director of The Central Lab. of Organic Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt: Organic Agriculture in Egypt

Interactive Dialogue
Concluding Remarks by the Moderator

13:30 – 13:40 The Transformative Power of Earth: Celebrating Agroecology – A special performance honouring the Future Policy Award for Agroecology and Sekem, jointly offered by the Sekem Musicians and Dr. Rama Mani, Councillor, World Future Council.

13:40 – 14:10 Lunch Break: Drinks & finger food

III. OUTSTANDING PRACTICES IN AGROECOLOGY 2019

14:10 – 15:40 Panel Discussion “The World’s Best Practices Scaling up Agroecology from Africa and beyond”

Moderator: Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, Councillor, World Future Council; World Board Member, IFOAM – Organics International; President, Millennium Institute; and President and Founder, Biovision Foundation, Switzerland/US

Valerie von Koerber, Co-Founder, Startup Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS) – a Bosch corporate start up, Germany: The Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019

Helmy Abouleish, CEO of Sekem Group; and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Heliopolis University, Egypt: Sekem, Egypt – an Outstanding Practice in Agroecology 2019

Tony Rinaudo, Natural Resources Advisor, World Vision Australia, Australia: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, Niger/worldwide – an Outstanding Practice in Agroecology 2019

Dr. Auma Obama, Councillor, World Future Council; and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, Kenya: Sauti Kuu Foundation: A Sustainable Agroeconomic Model in Practice

Shrikrishna Upadhyay, Initiator, Support Activities for Poor Producers of Nepal (SAPPROS)

Prof. Dr. Hassan Abou Bakr, Professor of Biological Control, Faculty of Organic Agriculture at Heliopolis University: 100% Organic Agriculture in Egypt

Interactive Dialogue
Concluding Remarks by the Moderator

15:40 Closing with drinks & dates

08302019-1549. Societal Convergence in Climate Action and Sustainable Agriculture Development.

08302019-1549. Societal Convergence in Climate Action and Sustainable Agriculture Development.

The Greenpeace Southeast Asia, IFOAM Asia and LOAMCP-PH (League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines) are in chorus to initially consolidate the on the ground impacts initiatives in SDGs 13 (Climate Action), 1 (No Poverty), 2(Zero Hunger) and 3 (Good Health and Well-being) of the 17 interdependent SDGs 2030 of the United Nations.

The initial meeting was successfully conducted to call for the National Civil Society Organizations ( CSOs) Summit in Climate Action and Sustainable Agriculture on November 27, 2019 prior to the LOAMCP-PH General Assembly on November 28, 2019, at the PICC.

PH CSOs with impacts initiatives in family farms and/or communities are encouraged to CONNECT to this national event to functionally CONNECT to the on the GROUND BEST IMPACTS INITIATIVES and ADAPTIVE REPLICATIONS of RA 10068, RA 9003, RA 8749, RA 9275 RA 8435 and RA 7160 among others and the UN SDGs 2030.

Good Cocoa Nursery Establishment and Management

The success of a cocoa farm to a larger extent will depend on a good planting material. You can grow your cocoa farm from the seed (directly) or seedling. We recommend you do it with the cocoa seedlings from a good cocoa nursery establishment.

What is a cocoa nursery?

Cocoa nursery is where you raise cocoa seedlings for transplanting to the field at the appropriate time. The work on cocoa nursery should start somewhere between November and December. This timing will help you meet the rains at time of transplanting to the field.

Site selection for cocoa nursery establishment

Make the following considerations when you are thinking of a place to establish your nursery.

  1. Water. The nursery will require water and especially at the period you will be doing it. So make sure there is available and accessible water source.
  2. Select a flat land, preferably close to the farm on which they will be transplanted.
  3. The soil must have good drainage. Water-logging is not good for your nursery.
  4. The site for your nursery should be away (about 10meters) from the nearest cocoa farm. Pest from these cocoa farms can also attack the seedlings.
  5. Some shady trees my pose a problem for the nursery and may even promote the infection of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD).

Land preparation and shading of the cocoa nursery site

You must weed and clear the site of all obstacles that will impede work in the nursery.

Cocoa nursery establishment requires that you erect a temporal shade with shade nets or palm fronds. This is to protect the seedlings from direct sunlight. Raise the shade about 2meters above the ground.

If there are livestock around that could pose threat to the seedlings, fence it.

Nursing the cocoa

You can raise the cocoa seedling in;

  1. Pots / Polythene bags
  2. Seed bed
Raising cocoa seedlings in pots/polythene bags

1. Get your polythene bags

a. If you are nursing the cocoa for a shorter period, say 3months, the bags can be smaller in size (about 12.5 cm x 25 cm)
b. If you are nursing for up to 6 months use a much bigger polythene bag (18cm x 25cm)

2. Create drainage holes at the bottom of the polythene bags. This will allow excess water to drain off and prevent logging.

3. The you fill poly bags with soil to the brim. Use soils with good aeration, water retention and high in organic matter.

4. For easy management, arrange the bags in block. Let each row have 10bags wide and 100bags longs. That will be 1000bags per block.

5. To make movement easy through the blocks, leave a gap of about 45-60cm. This will be used as path during the various operations on the nursery.

6. Water the soil in the bags before sowing the cocoa beans.

7. Sow the bean at a depth of 2cm with pointed side of the bean upward. If you are not sure, place it flat at the same depth. Avoid seeds that are already germinating.

8. Monitor germination and growth.

Cocoa nursery establishment on nursery beds

1. Weed and clear the area of all plant debris.

2. Prepare your bed of about 12.5cm high and 120cm wide. The length could go as you want. However, leave a gap of about 45-60cm to serve a path. This will help avoid stepping on the bed and compacting it during various operations in the nursery.

3. Level the top of the beds and create grooves 20cm apart on the entire bed.

4. Now, place the cocoa beans in the grooves 10cm apart.

5. Provide shade as it is done in the polythene bags method.

Note: Do not keep seedlings for more than 4months before transplanting when you raise them on beds.

How to maintain the cocoa nursery

After germination, watering should be done in the morning and evening when it is not raining. This will not be the case in the rainy season. Water as and when it is required. Too much watering can cause damping-off.

Control weeds regularly on polythene bags or nursery bed by hand.

Applying fertilizer or manure

Little or no fertilization may be needed if good soils are used in the cocoa nursery establishment.

However, if they are lacking in nutrients you can apply the recommended rate of fertilizer a month after germination. Be careful, if granules are used they don’t fall on the leaves. They can scorch the leaves. Water well so that the granular fertilizer can dissolve for the roots to use.

Controlling pest and disease

Use recommended fungicides and insecticides to control pests and diseases.

Do not apply those chemicals with knapsack sprayers used for applying herbicides.

Hardening the seedlings

Hardening helps to prepare the seedlings for transplant to their permanent field.

This is done by reducing the shade gradually a month before transplanting. The shade is then removed completely a week to transplanting.

At this stage, reduce watering and do not apply fertilizer.

How to transport seedlings from nursery to the field

This is a critical stage after the cocoa nursery establishment. The seedlings if not well handled can be damaged during transporting.

Do not overcrowd the seedlings. Carry just as much as the space available.

Records keeping on cocoa nursery establishment.

This activity should be done at the beginning, during and at the end of the nursery establishment. Keep records on everything including the source and quantity of materials used, the number of seeds planted, the number of seeds germinated, etc.