PRESS RELEASE

9 January 2012

 

 

Typhoon-hit provinces, LGUs urged to invest in early warning system for agriculture


Rice Watch and Action Network urged the provincial and LGU officials of typhoon-ravaged provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental to invest in early warning system for agriculture to protect the communities and their livelihood from the fury of extreme weather events, such as Typhoon Pablo that ravaged the provinces’ main agricultural crop, bananas.

 

The group warned that this may not be the last typhoon of this magnitude to hit this part of Mindanao and the people need to be armed with the necessary tools and information to determine the most viable and sustainable crops and livelihood, aside from their current main crop which is banana.

 

“We encourage the local and provincial government to seek national support in establishing Climate Resiliency Field School (CrFS) and Automatic Weather Station (AWS) while preparing the farmers, fishers and the communities to brace for more active role in addressing the impact of the changing climate,” said Aurora Regalado, R1 Convenor.

 

R1 gave this suggestion to the government in the light of the P6.6 billion assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture to Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte for farm rehabilitation and livelihood support for the farmers.

 

Regalado urged the Agriculture Secretary Alcala to encourage the local officials to draw up agriculture development plans based on the identified climate risks facing the communities to help the farmers and their families withstand the imminent dangers of extreme weather conditions.

 

R1 has been working with the LGUs of Irosin, Sorsogon; Gerona, Tarlac; and Tubigon Bohol in its project, Integrating Climate Risks Management into Local Agriculture Development Planning since 2009.

 

“We have seen how the project produced local development plans in agriculture that are premised on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The local chief executives put pesos and centavos in these plans and were included in the annual investment plan of each of the municipality. These are important for Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental for they may have to rethink their development plans since their farms are dependent on a single crop or in monocropping of banana or coconut,” explained Regalado.

 

According to R1, the Governors and Mayors in these provinces may need to forge partnership with PAGASA to provide continuous mentoring and capacity building in setting up their own local AWS for these are necessary infrastructure for the CrFS.

 

Regalado said PAGASA’s Climatology and Agro-meteorology Division can provide appropriate and relevant climate data with technical assistance in the operation of the local weather instruments; assist in drawing up the analysis of climate and weather data for use in the CrFS of the municipality; and help install, maintain, calibrate, and operate agro-meteorological station in the municipality.

 

The local governments, on the other hand, should commit to sustain the CrFS program for the agriculture sector in order to optimize production and mitigate impacts of extreme weather events, such as Typhoon ‘Pablo’.

 

“With extreme weather conditions creating unimaginable havoc to lives and properties in different parts of the country, we encourage other local governments to follow this example and put matters into their hands through planning of interventions.  We only need to tap the appropriate government agencies, break some of the bureaucratic layers, and identify ways of working together,” said Regalado. (END)

 

 

 

 

 

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