09252019-0944. The LOAMCP-PH Entry to the World Goerheanum Forum 2019 on 27/28 September 2019 in Dornach, Switzerland.

09252019-0944. The LOAMCP-PH Entry to the World Goerheanum Forum 2019 on 27/28 September 2019 in Dornach, Switzerland.

Our entry on Social Threefolding Transformative Education and Training on Bridging Leadership and Governance on Life-centered Biodynamic Agriculture is one of the selected 20 initiatives to be presented in the 5 minute Pitch Stage in the Heart of Biodynamic Agriculture of Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland at 4 PM on 28 September 2019.

The first flip chart of the 4 flip charts to be presented in the 5 minute Pitch Stage with 150-200 citizens/companies in Goetheanum Conference/Forum at 4pm of 28 September.

The core of the entry is the LOAMC-PH Societal Threefold (S3F) Transformation Development Framework to develop CONSCIENCE-BASED COMPETENCE and generate COMPASSION or S3F3Cs for Human mindset enlightenment of New Life of Innovations and System Thinking (NLIST) on Life-centered Development for societal transformation to sustain CLIMATE, BIODIVERSITY and Humanity as graphically shown below.

09212019-0341-0441. The LOAMCP-PH and Naturland Signing of International Cooperation Agreement

09212019-0341-0441. The LOAMCP-PH and Naturland Signing of International Cooperation Agreement

The Executive Director of the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines(LOAMCP-PH) and the International Development Manager Marco Schleuter of Naturland based in Germany completed the signing of the presigned Cooperation Agreement by LOAMCP-PH National President of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado and Naturland Executive Director during the 5th ALGOA (Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture ) +4 International Summit on Organic Policy in the hub of Organic 3.0 of Goesan, South Korea on 18-21, September 2019.

The cooperation has infused the strong commitments of both parties to give the true New Life of Innovations and System Thinking (NLIST) in the Co-creation of societal threefold domestic and export markets anchored in the Municipal and City-wide Sustainable Organic Agriculture Investment Master Plans (MSOAIMPs) of 7-20-40-60 member municipalities and cities for 2019-2020-2021 and 2022, respectively, to liberate farmers and citizens from POVERTY, HUNGER and SICKNESS as on the “Ground Implementations Initiatives” of RA 10068 and the United Nations SDGs 2030 especifically SDGs 1,2 and 3.

The LOAMCP-PH target is to achieve the 1.2 Million hectares of organic land in conversion by 2022 in partnership with DILG and DA (and attached agencies)-National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) and allied international and national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of IFOAM Asia, ALGOA, Regeneration International (RI), Biodynamic Agriculture Association of India (BDAI), Greenpeace South East Asia and Lifebank Foundation among others and the CSR of SEAOIL Foundation.

The DILG and LOAMCP-PH are “One” in the implementation of Organic Agriculture Act 2010 through the DILG Memo Circular No. 2019-70 signed on May 20, 2019 by the Honorable Secretary which directed all municipal and city mayors in the Philippines to become member of LOAMC-PH.

The signing was done with the presence of the Philippines’ delegates from Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Hon. Rosque Calacat, DA-Caraga Division Chief of Operations Ms. Rebecca R. Atega, LOAMCP-PH Treasurer Mayor Liz Evangelista of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, LOAMCP-PH Secretary Mayor Jun Dayaday of Asuncion, Davao del Sur, Mayor Randy Makapil of Linamon, Lanao del Norte, Dulag, Leyte Mayor Mildred Joy Que represented by Municipal Agriculturist Franklyn Diongzon, PH IFOAM Asia Board Member Edgardo “Boyet” Uychiat, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro Sustainable Agriculture Ministry Director Fr. Rene Soldevilla, Central Philippines State University (CPSU) President Dr. Adelino Moraca, CPSU Dean of the College of Agriculture, LOAMCP-PH Nick Jay Arr Encallado and the WOA-PH (Women in Organic Agriculture Asia Philippines) Marivic F. Tagupa and Quennie Rosario.

Regeneration International, Filipino League of Organic Municipalities Cities and Provinces Sign ‘Regeneration Philippines’ Pact

BISLIG, PHILIPPINES – If anyone knows first-hand what the global climate crisis is all about, it’s the people who live in the Philippines. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan, the second-strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Eastern Hemisphere, slammed the island nation with winds of 195 miles/hour, leaving 6,300 dead. 

It was a devastating event. But the nation of islands is fighting back.

Inspired by the country’s high level of local autonomy, 200 municipalities in the Philippines are taking the extraordinary step of signing an agreement among themselves, and with Regeneration International (RI), to create new policies that both recognize soil health as a powerful tool in addressing the climate crisis and reward farmers for drawing down greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering them in their soil.

When fully implemented in 2022, the agreement will cover 1.2 million hectares of land—almost 3 million acres. As a representative of RI, I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in this unprecedented endeavour almost from its beginning.

The plans for this project culminated June 14, at the 11th General Assembly of the Filipino League of Organic Municipalities Cities and Provinces (LOAMCP), where I gave a presentation on agricultural climate mitigation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between LOAMCP and RI, dubbed the “Regeneration Philippines (RP)” Memorandum.

This story really began back in 2017, in my London office when I received a call from a business contact in the Philippines who was working with LOAMCP (at the time it was LOAMC). He said, “Oliver, I think I have something newsworthy for you.” Then he passed me on to a contact who asked whether I could help generate press on an event that was happening during the 2017 AGRILINK trade fair, one of Asia’s biggest agricultural trade fairs.

Assuming he was going to pitch me on the latest industrial chicken feeding unit, I said, “Okay, great, who do you represent and what’s the event?”

“My name is Patrick Belisario of the Organic Producer and Trade Association of the Philippines,” he said.  “We work with a group of 200 mayors who are going to sign an agreement to implement new laws in their constituencies that would ban the use of toxic agrichemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).”

I paused a second and said, “Really? How would that work?”

He then explained that local governments in the Philippines could write their own laws without going through the central government (a bit like in the U.S., but very different from other Asian countries).

As it happened, it turned out to be both an interesting, and an exclusive, news tip.

Three months later I flew to the event to produce video coverage of the signing ceremony, which took place at the home of one of the most influential senators in the Philippines, Senator Cynthia Villar.

It was there that I met with the Hon. Rommel C. Arnado, mayor of the city of Kauswagan Lanao Del Norte on the Island of Mindanao and president of the League of Organic Municipalities and Cities (which has since expanded to Provinces). During an interview with Mayor Arnado I quickly learned that these policymakers were deadly serious. The use of toxic agrichemicals and GMOs is not allowed, he told me, and we have sanctions in place that could lead to imprisonment for those who break the laws.

Mayor Arnado’s community had suffered decades of heavily armed conflict, and through tough politics of care for his people, he put in place an award-winning conflict resolution and insertion program, “From Arms To Farms,” that brought Christian and Islamic rebel fighters to surrender  a part of their arsenal in exchange for education around organic food and farming, made available to all.

Mayor Arnado has since become a world leader for the organic movement, one who doesn’t mince his words and who puts radical action in place for the highest benefit of his citizens’ health and wealth.

Our coverage of the event was a success—we produced a three-minute video that reached more than 1 million people worldwide.

In 2019, I headed back to the Philippines to visit the Arms To Farms program and produce coverage for ‘Trails of Regeneration,’ an ongoing RI series produced in collaboration with Kiss the Ground.

During my trip I met up with LAOMCP Executive Director, agronomist and farmer Victoriano Tagupa, whom I had met in 2018 through the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)[LR2]  Asia at a summit of the Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture.

Victoriano—nicknamed Vic 1.0, as there are two other Vics in his family—is a true soil advocate. On his farm on the Filipino island of Mindanao, Tagupa combines biodynamics and natural agriculture within a fully integrated system using indigenous seeds, cover crops and holistic livestock management. In an interview, Tagupa said LOAMCP had a plan to convert 1.2 Million hectares of land to completely organic production by 2022. Tagupa discussed the significance this would have in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and about the possible needs and opportunities to implement new policies to train and reward farmers.

One month later Tagupa and I met again, but this time it was in Japan with Andre Leu, RI’s international director, for “Agriculture is the Solution to Climate Change,” an event organised by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the 4 per 1000 Initiative. Before the event, Tagupa, Leu and I worked together on a joint presentation promoting rice intensification systems.

At that event we quickly identified how LOAMCP could be instrumental in contributing to new policies on agricultural climate mitigation and could help inspire the international community through the 4 per 1000 Initiative.

Things progressed further when LOAMCP invited RI to give a presentation at the next LOAMCP General Assembly, and Tagupa and I suggested we sign an MoU that would contain all the elements we had been discussing. So, I got onto my laptop and drafted the “Regeneration Philippines” Memorandum, which was then sent to the RI board of directors, where it received swift approval.

I then flew to Bislig City for the LOAMCP General Assembly and met with LOAMCP’s officers before the day of the event to present to them the freshly minted “Regeneration Philippines” Memorandum. The memorandum content was adopted by the entire assembly. Many LOAMCP members were very supportive of LOAMCP moving beyond protecting the public from dangerous agrochemicals and into directly confronting the dangers of climate change. 

At the General Assembly I was able to point out the pressing issues we face with the climate crisis, its threat to human civilization and the need to act fast. I then showcased how by using regenerative agriculture to switch back on the soil microbiome, we can turn conventional farms into carbon sinks. I also spoke of the great hope that farmers represent in mitigating climate change through soil health. I also presented the 4 per 1000 Initiative—its purpose, its background and RI’s involvement—followed by the 4p1000 video “Farmers for Climate,” and an account of our[LR1]  recent LOAMCP RI trip to Japan with 4p1000.

I discussed the great potential LOAMCP could have in helping shape new policies on agricultural climate mitigation by using the 4p1000 framework, and then the LOAMCP officers and I presented the MoU. I it read aloud and asked the audience whether anyone had any objections, comments or suggestions. Hearing no objections from the audience, we launched the signing ceremony with LOAMCP President, Mayor Rommel Arnado.

LOAMCP has become a powerful organization in the Philippines, and this year it has expanded from the island nation’s cities and municipalities to its provinces. LOAMCP is an important organization that brings lawmakers together to protect human health and the environment from corporate greed in the agricultural sector.

There is an organic agriculture law in the Philippines that requires 5 percent of all the country’s farmland to be organic, and many in LOAMCP are fighting to push that figure to 100 percent. In a very encouraging move, the Department of the Interior for Local Governments (DILG) has officially asked every municipality in the Philippines become a LOAMCP member.

This development is particularly interesting, as it came just a few weeks after the Filipino government announced $614 million USD in subsidies for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides originating from Qatar—and Mayor Librado Navarro of Bislig City opened his address to the LOAMP 11th General Assembly by stating that under his mandate, Bislig will never accept these subsidies. Navarro’s comments were welcomed with an uproar of cheers and applause from the General Assembly.

In more good news, RI and LOAMCP are now collaborating to create “Regeneration Philippines,” a branch within LOAMCP designed to help steer LOAMCP’s efforts toward concepts of, and implementation of, regenerative agricultural development. LOAMCP’s next general meeting will be in November 2019 in Cebu, Philippines. RI plans at that meeting to officially launch Regeneration Philippines and set up a Regeneration Philippines office alongside those of LOAMCP and IFOAM Asia.

With the climate crisis bearing down on the Philippines, the country is taking bold steps to confront the crisis. The future looks good for these efforts to forge a national consensus around regenerative agriculture as a key factor in climate mitigation.

08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

This photo was taken on August 2, 3 days after transplanting on the Fruit day of August 29, 2019 ( it seems nothing is growing – the transplanted field indicator of SRI). It’s a full BioSRRI with BD 500 (from Biodynamic Agriculture Association India, BDAI) soil spray b4 transplanting. The living diverse weeds biomass on the left serve as forage for 3 cattles (2 still coming) and a refuge of beneficial insects.

Prior to harvest of this BioSRRI, the forage area will be prepared for the next planting- it’s harvesting manure and urine of cattle and the live biomass (roots and leaves) as principal source for Soil Organic Matter (SOM) to effectively regenerate soil health and carbon sequestration. After harvest, the field serves as the forage area of cattles. The area rotation cycle continuous with a cropping intensity of 2 times per year. In this way, application of solid bacterial fertilizer is an option but not necessary- the manure and plant/weed biomass sufficient to internally renegenerate soil health and/or fertility.

This is a 9,000 m2 or 0.9 hectare of 1.44 hectare alluvial ricescape dedicated to at least 3 Locally Adapted Varieties (LAVs) of black, white and red. The remaining 5,000 m2 or 0.5 hectare is for the built-in functional ecointensification microstructures to co-create climate-resilient family farm entrepreneurial school, eg. perimeter NFTs to buffer flooding and contamination from chemical pesticide drift, process protein and nitrogen source for livestock/poultry and soil health regeneration, respectively,

renewable energy from 4 CM biogas and 158 watts solar panel, combined piggery of cement floor and biomass bed for manure biogas feed cum low carbon and moderate carbon sources, respectively, for Bacterial and Fungal Biofertilizer production, harvested rain water and VAJ Transformative Education Hall (TEH) among others of the self finance Biodynamic Rice-based Ecointensification Agriecotour Diversified Learning Investment in Family Farm Entrepreneurial School (BREAD LIFE Family Farm Entrepreneurial School) of SAFEGCC INC ( Sustainable Agriculture Family-centrred Entrepreneurial Group of Co-Creators, Inc.

DA Caraga empowers barangay officials as partners in agri-development

BUTUAN CITY, July 11 — To promote agricultural development in the region, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga continues to build a partnership with the local government units to support farming endeavors.

The Department recognized that barangays served as the primary unit of government where basic services are being delivered to constituents.

As such, DA highlights the need to empower barangay officials of its programs, projects, and services and inform them how to avail of the agri- interventions.

A total of 306 punong barangays and barangay kagawads handling Committee on Agriculture participated in the recently conducted Information Awareness Caravan dubbed agri-barangayan – a dialogue with barangay officials from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte.

“DA’s desire is to empower the barangay officials with information for them to become active partners in agricultural development in their respective areas of responsibility,” said Regional Information Officer Emmylou T. Presilda.

During the forum, topics on how to avail of DA services and interventions were thoroughly discussed. Information on training and E-Learning from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) was also shared while Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation gave inputs on Crop and Livestock Insurance. Philippine Coconut Authority also gave their share of topics to shed light on the programs for coconut farmers. 

From the information he acquired, Barangay Kagawad Mateo P. Diango is now interested to attend agri-related seminars.

“As a Kagawad handling Committee on Agriculture, it is important for me to be aware of the programs of the DA and its attached agencies so that I can guide the farmers in our barangay,” he said.

The Agri-Barangayan part of the campaign aims to bring the government closer to the people.

With the positive feedbacks gathered from the first leg, DA’s Agri-Barangayan will soon cover other provinces in the region. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Mechanization transforms Caraga farms

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 — Agricultural modernization is one of the key interventions of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to support the farmers and make them more competitive in an open rice market.

The DA-Caraga through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) turned over the 110 units of mechanical rice transplanters to 110 eligible farmer associations and cooperatives from the different provinces in the region with a total worth of ₱30.4 million last July 12 at the DA-Integrated Laboratories Compound, Brgy. Taguibo, Butuan City.

RCEF is a safeguard mechanism of the Rice Liberalization Law wherein ₱10 Billion annual appropriations for the next six years, will be allocated to rice farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion and expanded rice credit.

Just in time for the year’s first cropping season, DA responds to the call of the rice farmers to make their farming more productive and less laborious by granting them with modern farm facilities. Mechanizing rice farms maximizes land and labor productivity thereby increasing the economic returns to rice farmers.

“DA is distributing first the mechanical rice transplanters so that our farmers will now take charge of their planting schedule and not be dependent on seasonal labors,” said DA-Caraga Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Alberto D. Ocampo, Jr.

“Aside from it, we wanted to reduce their workload through the use of the machine. This intervention is for free for eligible farmer groups. Mechanizing our rice farms in the region is our way to reduce their production cost at the same time increase their yield,” he added.

According to the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), the average cost of production of rice in the country is ₱12.00 per kilogram. With this, DA and its partner agencies aim to bring it down to ₱8 per kilogram through agricultural modernization.

“The labor cost during planting season is becoming more expensive it costs us ₱6,000-₱7,000 excluding the pulling of seedlings, aside from the planting contract, laborers also demand free meals,” said Felisa C. Hambala, Chairperson, Bayugan 3 Irrigators Association one of the recipients from Rosario, Agusan del Sur.

“We are very thankful to the government that they give attention to our needs because through their assistance labor cost in our farming will reduce,” added Hambala.

The PhilMech study revealed with the use of the machine, it can give a yield of 4.71MT/ha compared to the 4.24MT/ha using the direct seeding method and 3.90MT/ha for manual transplanting.

“We are encouraging our farmers to make use of the interventions that they receive from the DA.  The recipients should ensure the safety of the equipment while in their custody and optimize its utilization,” said RTD Ocampo.

Necessary operations and management training were also conducted to the beneficiaries to ensure proper and efficient use of the equipment which also includes seedling preparation.

Ultimately, it is the Department’s commitment to transform Caraga farmers to become more productive and competitive through strengthened access and use of efficient mechanized rice farming technologies. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

Starting 2019 with a Bang! ATI Inks Partnership with MVC

Mountain View College (MVC), a Seventh-day Adventist Institution in Valencia City, Bukidnon is ATI’s newest partner in eLearning and Organic Agriculture. During the MOA signing, MVC was represented by its President, Dr. Gladden O. Flores, Vice President for Academic Affair, Dr. Hope S. Aperocho, and Dean Ronilo C. Inocencio of the College of Agriculture.

During the MOA signing. From L-R. Ms. Maria Lydia Echavez, Dean Ronilo Inocencio, Dr. Aperocho and Dr. Gladden Flores.

For ATI, OIC Director Alfredo S. Aton was ably represented by ATI-RTC X OIC Center Director, Ms. Maria Lydia A. Echavez and OIC Assistant Center Director and eLearning Coordinator, Ms. Noemi Beth G. Macario.
As part of the agreement, MVC will include eLearning not only for its students in Agriculture but also those in other Colleges and the High School. The school will also promote eLearning to their Industry partners as part of their continuing education. On the other hand, ATI committed to assist in the development of the schools’ 1,024 hectares towards farm tourism. Presently, various cash crops and highvalue crops are planted in the school demo areas. ATI aso committed to assist in the capability development of its teachers, students and outreach partners especially in the field of Organic Agriculture.

The school caters to both students from the Philippines and other foreign countries. It is known to advocate healthy lifestyle, thus their quest towards organic agriculture. The majestic campus is located on a 2,500-foot plateau. It faces Mt. Kalatungan and Mt. Kitanglad. The College’ vast area includes farmlands, forests, and ranch lands. It is ideal for agri-based industries and an excellent training ground for students’ hands-on experiences. Within the school property is the breathtaking Malingon Twin Falls.

How technology is innovating agriculture in the Philippines

Agriculture typically involves manual labor but certain innovations in the sector have made it more technologically-inclined. (The STAR/File photo)

GUIYANG — Agriculture industry originally relies on manual labor but certain integrations of technology into the sector has definitely leveraged its own growth and development.

In other countries, for instance, they have started to roll out particular innovations in order to boost their agricultural systems.

China, which is known for its massive landscapes of grasslands and mountains, has been integrating technology into the development of their agriculture, particularly kiwifruits or kiwi.

The Asian giant is reclaiming the fruit as their own since the seeds originally came from them, and not in New Zealand as the misconception.

China’s Xiuwen county has established itself as one of the major producers of kiwifruits in the country. They have successfully integrated technology into the production and manufacturing of kiwis. (Photo by Jeline Malasig)

In Guizhou province, they have developed the Traceability Management System for Agricultural Products in Xiuwen County.

This system gathers any kind of information relevant to the kiwi plantation’s environment, from its climate to soil pH levels. It also monitors if the kiwifruit trees have diseases or not.

Furthermore, detailed data on each fruit is collected and stored for analysis—such as its size, sugar content and sugar-acid ratio.

Technology for innovation 

While the Philippines has yet to fully improve and develop its own agricultural sector, there have been initiatives done to help farmers through technology as well.

F1 hybrid seeds have been used in corn production in the Caraga region. It is to “ensure sustainable production in prime corn lands,” raise the average yields of corns per hectare and increase the income of marginal corn farmers in the region.

Other papaya-producing countries like Taiwan have similarly incorporated F1 hybrid seeds into their production. According to reports, it has resulted in “high-yielding” and “great tasting” papayas.

Intelligent farming equipment has also helped farmers increase their field productivity. One example is the WR-801 Multi-Function Hand Tractor that can do the job of ten people at once.

The machine can perform weeding, double-row tilling for fertilizer application, rotavation and furrow forming for corn fields and vegetable plots.

The country also completed what could be considered its “first and biggest” solar-powered irrigation system last May 2018. Piñol said that it could irrigate up to 500,000 hectares.

On the same month, Japanese-made drones have been utilized in three Benguet towns to spray fertilizer on vegetable farms located on mountain slopes. It was intended to lessen the farmers’ hours in the field.

The government also created a website specifically designed to help farmers in crop planning. Called Farmers Guide Map, it assists farmers in identifying suitable crops to be planted on their lands. It also provides data on climate conditions and soil adaptability.

In addition, different applications have also been developed as well.

Rice Crop Manager app, a web-based platform, provides recommendations to farmers in crop management based on their own farm conditions.

AgriDOC app enables farmers to record their activities and monitor farm inputs, improve their farm tasking and guide them in farm management.

KROPS app lets farmers market their own products at their own prices and help potential buyers find sources of farm products within their own area.

Editor’s note: The trip to China was hosted by the Chinese embassy to promote tourism. At no stage does the host organization have a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by Interaksyon.com following editorial guidelines.