Group pushes for field school, weather station for farmers


Jan. 10, 2013

by Max V. de Leon

Business Mirror


LOCAL government units (LGUs) in areas affected by Typhoon Pablo (international code name Bopha) should allocate part of the P6.6-billion rehabilitation fund to establish the Climate Resiliency Field School (CRFS) and Automatic Weather Station (AWS) to better prepare farmers against worsening weather conditions brought about by climate change, civic group Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) said.


R1 Convenor Aurora Regalado said that considering climate change’s impact on global weather systems, it is not far-fetched that typhoons stronger than Pablo could again strike the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.


The two provinces were the worst-hit by Pablo, which struck Mindanao on December 3. The typhoon damaged crops and plantations worth billions of pesos.


According to the convenor, people in these areas should be provided with the necessary tools and information to determine which crops and livelihoods are the most viable and sustainable.“We encourage the local and provincial government to seek national support in establishing CRFS and AWS while preparing farmers, fishermen and communities to [have a] more active role in addressing the impact of climate [change],” Regalado said.


She urged Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala to encourage local officials to draw up agriculture-development plans based on identified climate risks facing communities to help farmers and their families withstand extreme weather conditions.


R1 has similar projects in partnership with LGUs in Irosin town, Sorsogon province; Gerona town, Tarlac province; and Tubigon town, Bohol province. One of these is the three-year-old Intergrating Climate Risk Management into Local Agriculture Development Planning project.


“We have seen how the project produced local-development plans in agriculture that are premised on climate-change adaptation and disaster-risk reduction. Local chief executives put [money] in these plans and were included in the annual investment plan of each 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,” Regalado said.






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