January 10, 2012
KIKO URGES GOVT TO INVEST HEAVILY ON R&D FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AGRICULTURE
Citing the recent storms that have caused billions in crop and propety damage, not to mention countless lives, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Chair of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Social Justice and Rural Development, urges the government to invest heavily on research and development amidst rapid changes in the world's climate and its devastating effects on the food supply chain.
"Modernizing our farm equipment will help immensely in ensuring food security--but that is just one of the steps we can take to prepare for climate change," Pangilinan points out. "As we anticipate more and stronger typhoons--and they are sure to come--we need to be able to prevent further destruction and devastation from happening through a combination of R&D initiatives, private-public parnterships, and community adaptation at the LGU level. Hindi puwedeng puro disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts lang kapag bumaha na at nanganganib na ang mga taniman at buhay ng mga tao. We need to invest in measures to ensure that we can minimize losses and prevent massive hunger with the onslaught of these storms."
Pangilinan cites climate change adaptation models that have worked in flood-prone countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, and in areas with extreme weather conditions, such as Africa.
"These countries are already steps ahead in adapting to climate change, and they have begun testing out models that have helped them manage the effects of flood, prevent the massive loss of life, and even adapt agricultural practices based on changing climate patterns. We can't afford to delay any longer."
Pangilinan also states that it is now imperative for the government to focus on minimizing wastage and spoilage during typhoons as the Philippine population nears the 100 million mark.
"We must start developing long-term solutions to ensure food security. We already know that typhoons and extremely dry seasons are in store. With the help of modern research and technology on climate change adaptation, we should be able to empower our farmers, fisherfolk, and agricultural communities to turn crisis into opportunities for necessary reforms."
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