Farmers fear more losses due to climate change
September 2, 2009


By Armand M. Galang


GUIMBA, Nueva Ecija – Farmers here have expressed fears of great losses due to the worsening weather condition brought by climate change.

Agriculture stakeholders from the cities of Cabanatuan, Munoz and Palayan and this municipality said on Friday that they have already suffered from the heavy rains last April, a season to harvest and dry grains.

“We need assistance from the government because we are always caught unprepared for these sudden changes in weather patterns endangering our food and livelihood security,” said Lito Tambalo, a farmer from Munoz.

He said climate change also poses threats to their health particularly from heat stroke and hypertension.

During the forum on climate change spearheaded by non-government organizations Oxfam, Rice Watch and Action Network (R1), Philippine Rural reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and the Environmental Management Institute of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), women farmers also reported losses from agriculture in the past harvest season.

Rebecca Miranda, chair of the Nueva Ecija Women Leaders Council (NEWLAC), said they were forced to sell their produce at lesser prices because of the “lack of drying facilities.”

“Maaga po ang gawat (lean period). Dati-rati, meron pa kaming naitatabi para sa gawat ngayong Hunyo hanggang Setyembre pero ngayon, walang wala na po talaga pati panggastos sa eskwela,” she stressed.

Most farmers had to get in advance the P500 per student subsidy from the Department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD), a program under the Arroyo administration’s pro-poor program which is widely implemented in Nueva Ecija.

Miranda said “worse have yet to come in the agricultural sector unless the government institute scientific approach against climate change.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Jose Stevens Dizon underscored the need to educate students and the people on the effects of climate change. “There should at least an hour a week devoted for study on climate change in our curriculum,” Dizon said.

He also urged people to practice proper waste disposal.




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