Organic Agriculture Congress adopted Resolution Opposing Golden Rice
Cagayan de Oro City - The 5th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress (ROAC) in Region 10 adopted the 2 Resolutions sponsored by Agro-Eco Philippines, specifically, the recognizing and supporting of small farmers’ seed production system and the prohibiting of field trial, processing, and sale of Golden Rice and other GMO crops.
According to Eugenio Geraldo, farmer trainer of Agro-Eco Philippines from Bukidnon, “the small farmers’ seed production system has less recognition and support from the government, given that the focus of government’s programs in agriculture is on the production of certified seeds by the big transnational seed companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer”.
Geraldo’s daughter is considered to be the youngest rice breeder, where she already produced 30 varietal lines of rice at the young age of 9 years old.
“The resolution for the Golden Rice is timely, since Philrice is now on its way of field testing at Munoz, Nueva Ecija and San Mateo, Isabela,” according to Greg Tacbas, Cluster Coordinator of Agro-Eco Philippines in Northern Mindanao.
Golden Rice is artificially developed by Sygenta and Monsanto in collaboration with IRRI and PhilRice to address Vitamin A deficiency among Filipino children.
But For Agro-Eco, Filipinos can simply rely on our natural sources of Vitamin A such as malunggay (Moringa), chili leaves and many other green leafy vegetables. “We do not need Golden Rice. What we need is a strong and serious program of the government to support our vegetable productions to address malnutrition” said Mr. Geraldo.
Eugenio Geraldo was one of the resource persons who discussed about Farmers’ Seed Production System while Greg Tacbas shared the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of Agro-Eco Philippines.
The 5th ROAC in 10 was held on August 15-16 at Chali Beach Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. It’s an annual event attended by an increasing no. of farmers, CSOs, government officials and policy-makers.
Agro-Eco Philippines is hopeful that those resolutions will be brought by the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) to the House of Representatives and the Senate for actions.###