(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 04 March 2024) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds coming from Northeast to East will prevail with moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).

Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Organic Asia Congress showcases the gains of organic agriculture 

BUTUAN CITYThe Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga through its Organic Agriculture Program actively participated in the 6th Organic Asia Congress with the theme, "Building World Peace Through Organic Agriculture: Food Security Vital to Peace Building," at the municipality of Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte on June 6 to 10, 2023.

Held at the Kauswagan International Organic Convention Center, the said gathering brought together approximately 2,000 participants from both local and international communities and highlighted the crucial role of organic farming in promoting food security and fostering global harmony. With delegates hailing from 32 countries around the world, it served as a melting pot of diverse perspectives and innovative ideas in organic agriculture.

The host municipality of Kauswagan, used to be a war-torn devastated area due to decades of armed conflict. Through new leadership and reform, it implemented a peace-building program dubbed "Arms to Farms," that allowed organic agriculture to create livelihood and new opportunities for the insurgent groups and the affected communities. Two years later, the peace and order in the area improved and crimes gradually were eradicated.

Kauswagan Mayor Romel Arnado said that the success of their municipality comes from the unified efforts of their people, emphasizing on their desire for peace so that their children can live safely.

“We don’t want our children to wake up feeling endangered every day. Through the program on "Arms to Farms," we shall break and remove misconceptions and put Kauswagan on the global map,” Mayor Arnado said.

Undersecretary for National Organic Agriculture Board Zamzamin Ampatuan lauded the efforts of the host municipality for bringing their story into the world using organic agriculture.

“Organic industry is an isolated advocacy, it seems to be a taboo even from the beginning, but look at Kauswagan now. You were able to pull off this kind of convention. You went out of the box,” Usec. Ampatuan said.

The event provided an ideal platform for agricultural experts, policymakers, farmers, scientists, and enthusiasts to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices through series of seminars conducted from June 7 to 9 in the field of sustainable agriculture, land management, and climate change, among others.

Two empowered organic women farmers from the Caraga region were part of the roster of speakers who presented their stories on social inclusivity. Jhoanna Garcia from Butuan City shared her relentless efforts in fostering community development within the tribal groups in Barangay Nongnong, Butuan City.

Meanwhile, Marilyn Aranas, chairwoman of the Sto. Niño Multipurpose Cooperative in Sto. Niño, Butuan City, presented on women’s empowerment through agri-clustering. Her dedication and expertise are instrumental in promoting women active participation in decision-making processes.

The event also recognized the efforts of its stakeholders, including the DA-Caraga and the local government unit of Sibagat in Agusan del Sur, for their steadfast commitment and partnership in the development of agriculture in Asia.   

Regional Technical Director for Operations Rebecca R. Atega and OIC of the Field Operations Division Melody M. Guimary accepted the recognition on behalf of the department. Meanwhile, Sibagat Vice Mayor Maria Liza L. Evangelista received the same recognition from the organization.

The congress served as a platform for network and linkages, and established a relevant partnership among participants which contributed to the continuous growth and development of organic agriculture worldwide. (Kent Warren H. Fugoso, DA-13 RAFIS/PIA Caraga)