Mitigation, adaptation measures to disaster prone farms introduced

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Benguet State University (BSU) through the Climate Smart Agriculture Center (CSAC), one of the centers of BSU under the Vice president for Research and Extension will be introducing mitigation and adaptation measures to disaster prone areas in Bokod and Kabayan Benguet. Funded by the World Food Programme (WFP), the project aims to come up with farmers who are champions of disaster preparedness and climate change mitigation and adaptation and to develop resilient farms. The project will start this October 2017.

The technologies to be introduced are the use of structural windbreaks to minimize the impact of strong winds, installation of greenhouse and rain shelters for crops during the rainy months, installation of in-field rainwater harvesting tanks and reinforced vegetable terraced farms. This technology was developed at CSAC and will be introduced in two farms in Bokod and two farms in Kabayan. The water tank is used to store water during the wet season and the water collected will be used to irrigate vegetable farms through drip irrigation during the dry season when water is scarce. To minimize landslide and soil erosion, interlinked will be installed to reinforced vegetable terraces instead of stone as rockwall. And to protect plants from excessive rainfall, green house will be installed and rain shelter. The use of greenhouse was developed by Engr. John Malamug of the college of Engineering and applied Technology of BSU.

For the technology to be introduced, farmer cooperators were identified to be recipients of the BSU technology in disaster risk reduction management in agriculture. The selection was done in consultation with the Municipal Mayors together with the municipal agriculturist and the disaster risk reduction management officers of the two municipalities. Each farmer cooperator will be offering portion of their farms to be called demonstration farms. All the materials for the said technologies including farm inputs namely, seeds, fertilizers will be provided by the project.

As of press time, the identified recipients were Ms Angelita Atnog of barangay Ekip and Mr. Lino Casio of Palanza, Bila, of Bokod; and Mr. Jallen Pasiteng of Bashoy and Ms. Ruby Palwan of Pacso, Kabayan. This project was conceptualized because agriculture is the main livelihood activity in Bokod and Kabayan. The areas of these cooperators were preferred because of their geographical locations which are prone to flash flood and strong wind and the other areas susceptible to frost, drought which is a required of the project so that the effects of interventions to be given can be observed.

It can be recalled that Benguet is the second most vulnerable province to climate change hazards in the Philippines and Climate change is contributing to lower vegetable production and farm income in Benguet and is threatening agricultural land and water resources. This is because increased winds, flooding of crops and long periods of drought can reduce the quality and production of vegetable crops.

The project team is composed of Carlito Laurean, Program leader PhD; and project leaderss Ruth Batani, PhD; Belinda Tad-awan, PhD; Prof. Andres Basalong; Prof. Alexander Fagyan of the BSU main campus and Prof. Amorsolo Cuilan of the BSU-Bokod Campus. (Alexander Fagyan/Climate Smart Agriculture Center-BSU)
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