EDITORIAL| Adaptation strategies for farmers

WITH the shifting changes in weather, it is no longer enough that farmers conduct mitigating strategies if they want to sustain their farms. Adaptation methods need to be done to respond to the new normal.

Agriculturist Joe del Leliza of the Department of Agriculture mentioned that farmers have to avail of technology and explore other ways such as adjusting planting calendar and look for seeds that can adapt to extreme weather changes. Structures should also be looked into such as repairing dikes, drainage and irrigation canals, draining excess water from rice fields before and after heavy rains and using windbreak structures and mechanical dryers during weeks of nonstop rainfall.

La Nina, the opposite if El Nino, is expected to be felt in September.

It is the local government that has to provide a good policy environment in the community since they know the vulnerabilities of the area. They need to provide information and the means for farmers to learn more about the current weather situation so that they can adjust or change farming methods. Exploring resilient crops could also be a way forward for the farmers.

According to OECD’s C;imate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation manual (2010), “Climate change is likely to have significant impacts on the agricultural sector to which farmers will have to adapt. While agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a source of carbon storage in soils.”

Mindanao’s economy is driven by agriculture. It should only be right that farmers will not go hungry just because they are  unprepared for the extreme weather changes. The Kidapawan incident last April which cost the lives of farmers and the arrest of many more, should not happen again.

Posted in Opinion