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Transformed Agriculture: A Step Towards Greater Progress

Environment   Nov 21, 2016 by Bettina R. Quilapio

Sector: Agriculture and Food Security

Specific Issue: Inefficient and obsolete methods of farming

Mitigation and Adaptation

Most of the existing methods of farming used by farmers across the Philippines are considerably inefficient and obsolete in such a way that these methods are no longer suited for the current environmental conditions experienced and dealt with by the agricultural sector. These methods have caused farming in the country to be largely unproductive as the crops often fall victims to the harsh conditions in the environment. This shows that these methods need to be updated in order for farming in the country to be more successful enough to provide and assure food security for the large population of the country. One concrete way of addressing this problem would be informing the farmers about the current conditions in the environment, particularly that of Climate Change, and how these phenomena affect them and their livelihood, which is farming. Through this, they would be made aware of the need to devise new methods of farming that would allow them to yield more crops despite the negative effects of Climate Change on the land. In these talks, professionals would be invited so that they would be able to interact with the local farmers and brainstorm possible ideas for new methods of farming that are suited for their specific area. They would then be encouraged to conduct studies and refer to previous researches done regarding this issue so that they would be able to determine which method of farming would be most efficient. This would allow the farmers to adapt to the current situation our environment is in while being able to be productive and successful in their livelihood. Prior to formulating new plans, these farmers, together with some experts, would have to assess the current situation regarding the existing methods of farming they are implementing. They would have to determine the faults in these methods and figure out why these methods have proven to be inefficient. These weaknesses would serve as reference points in determining the necessary changes to be made and the points of improvement to be addressed in formulating new methods of farming. Currently, farmers are heavily reliant on the use of chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides. While these may be somewhat beneficial to them, these chemicals are proven to have harmful effects on the environment. Thus, farmers should be made aware of other possible alternatives that are less harmful to the environment yet are still affordable and have good lasting effects.

Technology and Financing

Traditional methods can negatively impact the long-term fertility of the soil. For instance, excessively tilled soil results in loss of valuable moisture and nutrients. In order to avoid this problem, it is salient to introduce new technology and machinery in order to address this issue.

Renewable energy

Rice hulls, usually thrown out by farmers, can be converted into energy used to power farming equipment. A mobile gasifier system uses this biomass-sourced energy to power water pumps to improve irrigation. It can also be used to drive rice mills. If used alternately with the usual petrol fuels, this system can save the farmer 37% to 44% in fuel cost for irrigation.

Weather station

A Field Weather Monitoring Station detects wind direction, air pressure, rainfall, temperature, humidity, and moisture. The data allows the farmer to make more precise decisions regarding their crops.

Farming machines

Farming equipment can significantly save time, money, and labor. A single combine harvester can accomplish 3 tasks: reaping, threshing, and winnowing. When let loose on one square kilometer, it can do all this in 20 to 30 minutes.

In order to implement these technological advancements, we would need financial assistance from the government and other organizations who are willing to invest in agricultural advancement. Here are some organizations that have been instrumental in providing support:

  • Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
  • Department of Agriculture (DA)
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
  • Department of Health (DoH)
  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  • Depatment of Social Work and Development (DSWD)
  • The Netherlands Organization for International Development Cooperation (NOVIB)
  • United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Fund for Population Activites (UNFPA)
  • World Bank-Global Environment Facility (WB-GEF)

Escaro, Geraldez, Quilapio, Veneracion

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