BPI Foundation and World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines announced the culmination of “Climate-Proofing Agricultural Landscapes” or AgriClima, their joint initiative promoting climate-smart agriculture.
Climate-smart agriculture is the transforming or re-orienting of agricultural practices patterned to the new realities of climate change.
Established in 2016, AgriClima aims to “climate-proof” or make farms profitable and productive despite extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change.
The project assessed the impact of climate change to agricultural sectors and devised sustainable strategies to mitigate its negative impact.
“This joint venture with WWF-Philippines is our way of investing in our Filipino farmers to make the best happen for them,” said Maricris San Diego, BPI Foundation Executive Director.
“AgriClima further strengthens their resilient spirit by inspiring a proactive response to their new climate conditions so they can protect their families and livelihood, and our economy.”
“For three years now, we have been a proud partner of BPI Foundation given our shared mission of propelling sustainable projects for society and environment,” said Moncini Hinay, WWF-Philippines Project Manager.
“The combination of our organizations’ respective expertise allowed AgriClima to contribute to economic development.”
The BPI Foundation and WWF-Philippines project is in alignment with the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 (RA 10000), which aims to improve the productivity of the agriculture and fisheries sector by helping them have access to credit, insurance, and financing systems.
It focuses on the sugarcane industry, which covers the 423,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation subjected to the agrarian reform program and contributes an estimated P70 billion to the country’s gross domestic product.
In its two-year run, AgriClima introduced Negros Occidental farmers to advanced farming technologies and block farming methods to double their yield especially on sugarcane production.
With the help of Multi-Sector Alliance for Development-Negros, 23 farmer cooperatives covering over a thousand farmers also received training for financial and business skills to help them sustain and uplift their quality of livelihood.
For 2018, the project also successfully bridged the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), the Department of Agriculture’s sub-branch for the development of the sugar industry through help of private sectors, and SRA-accredited cooperatives for development programs.
This initiative will help the small-holder farmers avail of the Sugar Industry Act (SIDA) Fund, which they can use for improvements of production.
Since the launch of the project, it worked closely with the local government unit of the City of La Carlota, and municipalities of Valladolid, San Enrique, and Pontevedra.
The efforts ultimately pushed for the creation of water quality management area (WQMA) of Ara-al-Najalin-Marayo Watershed.
The WQMA will help ensure smart and sustainable use of water resources not only for agricultural production but also for industrial, commercial, and domestic purposes.
“The watershed management can help mitigate the siltation of our water resources and prevent droughts, landslides, or other disasters resulting from soil erosion,” said Dr. Jilson Tubillara, Mayor of San Enrique.
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