Eastern Visayas gears up for transition to revised Organic Agriculture Standards

Fri, 02/02/2024 - 13:59

The Philippine National Standard for Organic Agriculture (PNS/BAFS 07:2016)  was first revised in 2019 to align with ASEAN Standard on Organic Agriculture (ASOA) and update practices based on industry needs. This includes creating separate standards for crops and animals, addressing organic feeds, and specifying lot area requirements.

In 2023, three new codes of practice were released namely PNS/BAFS 370:2023 Organic Poultry - Code of Practice, PNS/BAFS 371:2023 Organic Swine Production - Code of Practice, and PNS/BAFS 337:2022 Organic Crop Production, Postharvest, and Processing - Code of Practice. To learn about these latest revisions, the agricultural extension workers (AEWs), farmer representatives from Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) groups, and other stakeholders in Eastern Visayas gathered for an information caravan on February 1-2, 2024 at ATI-RTC 8, VSU, Baybay City.

Mr. Vicente Deloyola Limsan, Jr., Science Research Specialist II from the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (DA-BAFS), explained the new provisions and highlighted key differences from the previous standards. He emphasized the reasons behind omitted provisions and the importance of newly added ones. He clarified any gray areas and ensured that participants fully understood the clauses, as these serve as their reference for organic practices and certification. He also reminded that “every stakeholder of the said PNS has one year transition to adopt the new revisions.”

Region 8 is known for its active adoption of organic agriculture. The number of certified organic farmers, both third-party and PGS certified, and interested farmer associations is steadily increasing. This information caravan plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition to the revised PNS and supporting the continued growth of organic agriculture practitioners in the region.