Manila, Philippines: Philippine government must invest in agriculture infrastructure if the Filipino farmer is to be helped to weather the effects of climate change. The government should enhance its risk assessment and disaster management capacities by utilising remote sensing, GIS and climate check, proposed Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in a report to President Benigno Aquino III.
“The country can already feel the effects of climate change with floods, dry spells and shorter fishing seasons because of the early onset of strong winds and rain,” Alcala said. He noted that the country needs quick and accurate data to conduct effective surveys at the national and local levels.
The government should make greater investment in equipment and infrastructure like irrigation works that will harvest rain water (big reservoir types and small water impounding projects), all-weather roads, farm mechanization, warehouses, storage facilities, and other post-harvest investments.
“More durable market access infrastructure like farm-to-market roads, fish ports, post-harvest facilities and equipment shall form part of the climate change adaptation measures of the department,” the report said.
Alcala also called for improved research and development in agriculture. The Philippines, he said, needs crops that are drought-resistant or submergence-tolerant.