Gov't Urged to Step Up 'Eco-Friendly' Agri Programs amid Dire Predictions

Manila Bulletin, July 10, 2009 | Go to article overview

Gov't Urged to Step Up 'Eco-Friendly' Agri Programs amid Dire Predictions


The government should step up programs that promote ecologically-sound food production practices to help mitigate the impacts of global warming and climate change, lawyer Efren Moncupa, lead convenor of Go Organic! Philippines, said.According to Moncupa, the threats of global warming and climate change, which cause temperature rise to unprecedented levels, are real and the Philippines will be among the first to feel its adverse effect, particularly to agriculture.Moncupa, a former agrarian reform undersecretary, expressed alarm over predictions that the country's rice production will drop by 50 to 70 percent by 2020."This will definitely impact on the Filipinos, particularly the poor," Moncupa said.Among the vulnerable sectors, Moncupa said, rice farmers who have long been complaining of extreme hunger despite the fact that they are the ones producing the staple food for the Filipinos, will be hardest hit.Moncupa was reacting to the report entitled "What Happened to Seasons" released by the international advocacy group Oxfam, which predicted that yield in rice-producing countries like the Philippines will drop by 10 percent for every one-degree Celsius rise in temperature.The report said aside from rice, corn production will also suffer. Corn is an alternative to rice in poor provinces, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao region.The Exfam report was released in time for the Group of Eight wealthiest countries in the world or G-8 meeting in Italy this month."The government should step up programs that will not only help increase production, but fight global warming and climate change," Roland Cabigas, managing director of La Liga Policy Institute (LLPI) and a convenor of Go Organic! Philippines, said.Go Organic! …

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