March 1, 2024

The Department of Agriculture will fortify the sector of farmers and fisherfolk against the challenges of climate change, which is an immediate and critical global concern, Sec. Francisco Tiu Laurel said.

“Underlining our shared commitment to building resilient farming and fishing communities, this year’s theme ‘Bayanihan para sa klima: Bagong bansang matatag’ accentuates the importance of working hand-in-hand as we collectively fortify the agriculture sector against the challenges of climate change,” Laurel said at the kick-off of the Climate Change Consciousness (CCC) Week.

Addressing climate change “demands our prompt attention and concerted action. President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has emphasized the critical need for implementing measures to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change across various sectors, especially agriculture and food production,” he added.

Laurel, who has expanded his family’s fishing business before joining government, made this key policy pronouncement just a few weeks after his appointment. In previous public engagements, he said he has experienced the effects of climate change first-hand.

Representing Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel said the proposed 2024 DA budget includes a special provision to increase resilience among agriculture communities through infrastructure and seeds development. 

“Special Provision Number 15 within the budget emphasizes that the Department of Agriculture shall endeavor to increase the resilience of agriculture communities through two key approaches, first through the implementation of disaster-resilient agriculture infrastructure projects; second, through the development of seeds that are optimally adaptive to present and future climate change condition,” she said. 

The CCC Week also celebrate the 10th anniversary of DA’s Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) Program which trains all communities, particularly those dependent on agriculture and fisheries, to become resilient to the increasing adverse effects of climate change. 

AMIA, which has organized 181 model villages across the country, recognizes the need for adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect farmers, fisherfolk, and the environment

Serving as a source of best practices for other communities to learn and emulate, the AMIA villages are centers of technological and institutional innovation with access to vital climate relevant support services.

Laurel said AMIA is “a pivotal component of this (climate change) initiative, (and) mirrors our dedication to securing a resilient and robust agriculture sector by being a platform of partnership and innovation for climate action across the whole DA.”

The extreme weather events, shifting weather patterns, rising temperatures, and the El Niño phenomenon are indicators of climate change, and profoundly impact Filipino farmers and fisherfolks. – Press release