VARIOUS quarters, including farmers and fishermen, concede that climate change is a potent factor that can derail much of what has been attained to ensure food security in the country.
As an agricultural nation, the Philippines, through the Department of Agriculture (DA), needs to implement climate-resilient agriculture technologies and systems to sustain productivity.
DA Secretary William Dar said extreme weather, widely considered as the “new normal,” will continue to impact on the country’s agriculture and fishery sector, and national food security.
Right after he assumed office on August 5, Dar ordered all agriculture department officials and employees to do away with the “business as usual attitude,” calling on them to level up.
All “DA Family” members should adapt to “our new thinking for agriculture and imbibe the eight paradigms to attain our vision of a food-secure Philippines, with prosperous farmers and fishermen,” said Dar.
“Further, they should adjust and transform in order to level up climate-resilient agriculture,” he added.
The “DA Family” includes regional field offices, bureaus, attached agencies and corporations, commodity banner programs, other units, and foreign and locally-funded projects.
Earlier, Dar ordered the expansion of the Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture (AMIA) strategy to municipal, provincial and regional levels to test climate-resilient agricultural programs.
The setting up of more AMIA villages, where climate-resilient programs and projects are pilot-tested, is one of DA strategies aimed at addressing the challenges of climate change.
Data collected from these AMIA villages will be used for scaling-up in areas with compatible profiles, according to Secretary Dar.
DA and private sector efforts aimed at ensuring national food security deserve the support of everybody, notably the farmers and fishers, as the problem of climate change continues to worsen.