KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews / 21 May) — The once war-torn town of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte will host the 6th Organic Asia Congress together with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) Organics Asia.
The convention will take place on June 4-9 at the five-hectare Kauswagan International Organic Convention Center in sitio Tangkig, a coastal village in Barangay Tacub.
Mayor Rommel C. Arnado, National President of League of Organic Agriculture, Municipalities, Cities and Provinces (LOAMPC) said the congress will focus on organic agriculture and production of healthy food to attain food security as a key to world peace.
Arnado said over 2,000 participants, including 251 foreign delegates from 35 countries, will attend the event.
He said Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., had instructed all local chief executives to participate in the convention to promote organic agriculture in their respective communities.
He said only 200 local government units, including Kauswagan, are currently adopting organic agriculture.
Kauswagan’s From Arms to Farm Programme won the first United Cities Local Government Bogota Peace Prize on October 16, 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.
Arnado said the Philippines lags behind in terms of organic farming, which is supposed to be done by the government.
“Kauswagan did not bid to host the event but was chosen by IFOAM Organics Asia and accepted the challenge and opportunity,” he said.
On August 18, 2022, IFOAM Organics Asia President Mathew Jhon represented by First Vice President Edgardo Uychat and Arnado signed the memorandum of understanding for the coherent, effective and transparent implementation of activities with Department of Agriculture officials.
On June 5, Arnado as the new President of Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture will receive the ALGOA flag during the handover ceremony from outgoing ALGOA President Song In-heon, Mayor of Goesan County, South Korea, Vic Anthony Joseph Tagupa, Operations Officer IFOAM Asia said.
The Kauswagan International Organic Convention Center has accommodation facilities, a kitchen and a cafeteria, two landing zones for helicopters intended for health emergencies, and a media center with internet connection.
Arnado said they have held coordination meetings with various government agencies as well as with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.
“The efforts towards the last week of May will focus on simulation activities such as testing of venue facilities and equipment, power energy source, potable water system, organic food tasting, mobility and traffic management, and tour guide simulation,” he said.
Colonel Sandy Vales, Police Director of Lanao del Norte said security arrangements, including an incident command center, are being worked out with the military, Office of Civil Defense and other agencies. (Richel V. Umel/MindaNews)