Supporting local government-led initiative on organic farming
On April 1, 2021, Access Agriculture signed a strategic partnership agreement with the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP-PH) during a virtual signing ceremony. With the ambitious target to have 1.2 million hectares of farmland in the Philippines converted to organic by 2022, Hon. Mayor Rommel C. Arnado, President of LOAMCP, welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with Access Agriculture as a very timely event. “By giving people the opportunity to learn and earn a decent living from organic agriculture, it will help to build peace in the southern part of our country. Once we will have the Access Agriculture videos translated into Tagalog and Cebuano, it will also greatly help us to bring more young people into farming, as our farming population is aging quickly,” said Hon. Arnado. With the growing political awakening across the globe that business as usual is no longer an option if we want to secure food production for future generations, LOAMCP is a pioneer initiative that can serve as an example for the rest of the world. Through a democratic, bottom-up process, the mayors and governors from some 200 municipalities, cities, and provinces across the Philippines have become members of LOAMCP. Through this organisation they feed into the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and influence national policies. Roughly half of the mayors are from Mindanao island and neighbouring smaller islands from Luzon and Visayas. Mindanao island has a number of the poorest regions in the Philippines with experienced of decade conflicts. However, 2 of the LOAMCP-PH member municipalities and 1 city showed the best examples of organic agriculture development as a long term municipal and city-wide societal development framework as recognized by the IFOAM-Organics International, UN FAO, World Future Council, IFOAM Asia and ALGOA. Partnerships are crucial to build sustainable food systems and are rightly included as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “Together with other lead international organisations such as IFOAMOrganics International, Regeneration International, Global Alliance for Organic Districts (GAOD), IFOAM Asia, and Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture (ALGOA), Access Agriculture will add value to our efforts by enabling access to highly relevant training videos on agroecology and helping us to build digital services,” said the LOAMCP Executive Director and Associate Professor, Victoriano I. Tagupa. “This is a really exciting partnership and it is up to all of us to make people feel that agriculture is also exciting. Young people like video, whether they film short clips themselves and share them on the EcoAgtube video platform, or whether they have access to the more structured Access Agriculture training videos in their own language. By doing so, we also help to keep local languages alive,” said Josephine Rodgers, Executive Director of Access Agriculture. The partnership agreement marks the beginning of an exciting journey where Access Agriculture as a global service provider will add value to a remarkable national initiative driven by local authorities.