Young farmers join call for better irrigation
Saying they know all too well the effects of climate change, four young farmers who experienced firsthand the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in November 2013 are now joining calls for better irrigation for farmers.
The farmers—Rona Aguillo, Alex Ogsimer, Anthony Tobes and Conrad Espedilla—believes the best way to combat the effects of climate change is to move towards resilient agriculture.
“Irrigation system is really important for farmers. In our community water supply is not equally distributed due to the absence of irrigation system, giving farmers like us a very low yield,” Espedilla said in a Rappler interview.
A resilient agriculture coupled with an effective irrigation system, would help address the country’s food security concerns and also provide better income for small-scale farmers.
As climate change worsens, farmers are having difficulty confronting the effects of storms and droughts to their crops and livestock.
The typhoon survivors presented their case, together with Plan International, at the Asian Irrigation Forum held at the Asian Development Bank in Manila.
Experts are also pointing to the increasingly erratic weather being experienced in the Philippines as another threat.
More small-scale farmers are forced to deal with the new climate norms with new farming methods.
Plan International Country Director Dennis O’Brien said organizations like them are working to ensure small-scale farmers are given access to “sustainable, fair, reliable and equitable benefits.”
“In places where we work in especially those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, young people and marginalized groups are given the opportunity to increase their skills to ensure sustainable food production and security,” O’Brien said.
The Asian Irrigation Forum aims to help Asia’s agriculture sector understand the challenges and the impact of climate change faced by farming communities, including the Philippines, to help secure water and food security in the Asia-Pacific region. (Ched Romulo)