Around 44 delegates from region 10 have joined the 13th installment of the OA Congress, held in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Photo shows the representatives of DOALNARA Restoration Society of the Philippines of Claveria, Misamis Oriental flanked (from L) by Dr. Valentino C. Perdido, regional director of DA-RFO 1, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DA USec. for Administration and Finance, Audy Maagad, Supervising Agriculturist of the Field Operations Division of DA-RFO 10, Emmanuel F. Piñol, DA Secretary and Samuel C. Natindim, Jr., regional organic focal person, as they capped this year as finalist for the Outstanding Farmers’ Group category in the National Organic Agriculture Achievers Awards.
Laoag City, Ilocos Norte – “Ako mismo ang bebenta ng mga produkto ninyo,” remarked Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol as he committed himself as the sales head for organic and naturally grown products, before more than a thousand delegates during the recent conduct of the 13th National Organic Agriculture (OA) Congress, held in the city.
Bearing the theme: “Organiko a wagas: tatao ken aglawlaw nadur-as (Organic way: for people, environmental sustainability and progress), the confab focused on putting premium the marching order of the Duterte administration of providing available and accessible food with emphasis on sustainability, robustness, resiliency and food safety for everyone.
Accordingly, a series of activities was staged, including the conduct of consultations, awarding ceremony for the OA achievers, cooking contest, plenary and breakout sessions for the research, marketing and starter groups, and the conduct of an organic trade exhibit.
In particular, the DA chief noted his appreciation for the various organic and naturally grown products displayed at the trade fair, but challenged the exhibitors and the organic advocates in attendance to go an extra mile.
“You are doing great but make sure that you are able to supply the needs of the market the moment your product captures the imagination of the buyers,” Sec. Piñol said.
Packaging, he added, can play a vital role in the success or failure of the sales of a product.
“If you have a good product, package it very well,” he added.
Likewise, he relayed that one of the DA regional field offices has already apportioned Php25 million for organic rice production, signifying that the department will not waver on banking initiatives that would help organic farmer-producers, processors and other relevant stakeholders of the industry to link them to bigger market opportunities.
“Show me the quality and marketability of your product…Pag-igihin ninyo ang inyong produkto, and we (DA) will behind you a hundred per cent,” the agriculture secretary declared.
On top of food production, Sec. Piñol also underscored that under his watch, he will also ensure that he will curb corruption, at the same time.
“I will assure you that there will be no misuse of government funds. Government funds will be intended for you,” he aptly ended.
Prominent figures in attendance include DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, and Engr. Christopher V. Morales, national program coordinator of the National Organic Agriculture Program. # (JLOlson, DA-RFO 10)
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