To beat the effects of El Niño and the changing climate, reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar urged farmers to be climate-smart.

“Our farmers will have better chances of beating El Niño and the effects of climate change if they are educated on the actions to be taken in order to avoid agricultural losses,” the seasoned legislator said.

Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, made this statement following a report by the Department of Agriculture saying that the damage to rice and corn crops due to El Niño has reached P5.7 billion.

The veteran lawmaker said training programs such as the Climate-Smart Farm Business School are offered by the Agricultural Training Institute and farm schools nationwide to help farmers build resilience in the face of a changing climate.

“Training programs to help farmers build resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

The Nacionalista Party senator also cited the steps taken by government in order to cushion the agriculture sector from the negative effects of El Niño through the planting of drought-tolerant seeds, cropping calendar adjustment, use of rainwater-harvesting system and cloud seeding.

For localities severely affected by El Niño, she urged local governments to declare a state of calamity in order to make use of the calamity fund to help farmers cope and recover from the damage.

“We need these critical interventions so that our farmers, who are among the most vulnerable groups in climate change, would be guided on what’s best to do in terms of managing their farms in the face of this global dilemma,” Villar said.

“We need critical interventions so that our farmers would be guided.”

Through the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) Farm Schools, she said she will support the free training of farmers for a climate-smart agriculture.


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