Agri stakeholders told to prepare for drought

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Friday, December 20, 2013

STAKEHOLDERS in the agriculture sector are told to prepare for drought in the coming years to ensure food security and livelihood, an agriculture official said.

"With the recent developments on the effects of climate change, there is a huge possibility, as predicted by foreign and local scientists, that we will be facing adverse weather conditions. There might be too much rain or an increase in temperature and when it happens there will be problems and difficulties in production," Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council-Davao chair Armando C. Angsinco told reporters on Thursday.

He said experts predicted that in the next five to 10 years, Mindanao may experience drought that will worsen problem on water supply.

"The drought will have a huge effect on agriculture and there will be problems and difficulties in producing traditional crops like rice and corn," Angsinco said.

He suggested that the government should help boost the aquaculture industry, like providing aquaculturists with improved and new strain of fish that can withstand extreme temperatures and can be fostered in inland ponds.

He said fishpond operators can also enter a Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA) or Aquasiviculture Stewardship Contract (ASC) with the government. Under the Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No. 197-1 series of 2012, this will help them increase their productivity.

"With the FAO the sector can prepare and in the event it happens the sector could make modest contribution in the production and security of food," he said.

Aquaculturists and agriculturists should also take the initiative in preparing for the possible drought.

Davao City Councilor Marissa S. Abella, for her part, said she will prioritize the establishment of an agriculture center in all three districts of the city next year.

She said the agriculture center will have a demo farm which will serve as a learning center for farmers to be updated on the latest agricultural technologies and methods in order for them to be prepared and equipped for the drought.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 21, 2013.


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