Digicast Negros

Neg. Occ. prepares bid to host 2027 Organic World Congress

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez, Edgardo Uychiat of the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development  Foundation Inc.  and Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson (l-r) at the organizational meeting on Thursday.*Richard Malihan photo  

A Negros Occidental technical working group convened Thursday,  April 4, to prepare  the  bid of the province  to host the 2027 Organic World Congress,  Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson  said. 

The Negros Occidental provincial government needs to submit data by the end of April for  the bidding  set in December, Lacson  said, adding that the event itself will be in 2027. 

“We would just like to introduce ourselves to the world and one way to do that is to host the congress,” he said. 

 “Today marks the beginning of our pioneering journey as we prepare for the bid process to host the 2027 Organic World Congress in our province”, Lacson told those present at the organizational meeting, which  was also attended by Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez. 

 The organic farming initiative in the province began some 40 years ago, paving the way for Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental to execute a Memorandum of Agreement, pledging to engage in unified sustainable agricultural rural development for the entire island, and eventually make Negros Island the Organic Food Bowl of Asia, he said. 

In 2022 Negros Occidental had an estimated 18,000 hectares of organic farmland, and in 2023 they targeted to increase that  by 10 percent  annually, Lacson said. 

 To mitigate the debilitating effects of depleting natural resources and in response to the urgent need for ecosystem recovery and conservation efforts, the provincial government implemented the organic farming program even before the enactment of Republic Act 10068, he pointed out. 

The Organic Agriculture Act of 2010  states that  the promotion of the practice of organic agriculture will cumulatively condition and enrich the fertility of the soil, increase farm productivity, reduce pollution and environmental degradation, prevent the depletion of natural resources, further protect the health of farmers, consumers, and the general public, and save on imported farm inputs, Lacson said. 

 “Due to our adherence to such practices, the province has earned several national awards over the years, including the Top Performing Organic Agriculture Province, Outstanding Focal Person, Outstanding Organic Farmer, and a National Finalist in the Organic Farming Family category.,” he said. 

More than the implementation of legislation and policies to support organic farming, Negros Occidental is also the lead exporter of organic sugar, he added. 

 To further the advocacy and involve the farmers and the stakeholders in the organic sector, the provincial government has also been organizing the annual Organic Farmers Festival where several foreign organic farming advocates have also been invited, he said. 

Organic agriculture goes beyond mere cultivation and represents a commitment to rejuvenating the environment and ensuring the well-being of both present and future generations, Lacson said. 

“Our plan to host the 2027 Organic World Congress…represents a continuation of our gains and achievements…Our success will not only be measured by our ability to secure the bid but also by the lasting legacy we leave for our province and the global organic community,” he said.* 

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