Lanao del Norte town mayor heads Asian organic farming body
KAUSWAGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE — Mayor Rommel Arnado of this once war-torn town is now at the helm of a major organization advocating the widespread practice of organic agriculture in Asia.
Arnado was chosen president of the Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture (Algoa) during its joint summit early this week with the Global Alliance of Organic Districts (Gaod) in this town, He took over the post from Mayor Song In-Heon of South Korea’s Geosan County, who held it for seven years.
As Algoa president, Arnado will also take on the co-presidency of Gaod, created by Algoa in collaboration with European partners, among them the International Network of Ecoregions based in Rome.
Kauswagan town is hosting the 6th Organic Asia Congress with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM), gathering over 2,000 advocates and practitioners of sustainable agriculture from 32 countries.
Arnado paid tribute to “the generous support of Geosan County” in the growth of Algoa through the years. He describes Algoa as a “unique organization” in that it gathers under one roof “local governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector for the development of organic agriculture in Asia.”
Arnado also expressed gratitude to the New Taipei City for its support in undertaking the operations of the Algoa Center for Public Procurement.
“I look forward to fostering the growth of these two groups under my presidency as nothing can take precedence over the importance of capacity-building for the further development of organic agriculture,” said Arnado, also the president of the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities in the Philippines (LOAMCP).
Geosan County Mayor Song In-Heon expressed confidence Arnado will be up to the task of leading Algoa toward becoming a prominent international organization that advocates and integrates organic agriculture practices into mainstream society.
Arnado became mayor of Kauswagan in 2010 and began a rebirth of the organic farming method, supported by local policies such as an ordinance banning the sale of toxic farming chemicals.