The Department of Agriculture (DA), headed by Secretary Francisco Laurel Tiu, will fortify the sector of farmers and fisherfolk against the challenges of climate change, which is an immediate and critical global concern.
“Underlining our shared commitment to building resilient farming and fishing communities, this year’s theme: “Bayanihan Para sa Klima: Bagong Bansang Matatag,” accentuates the importance of working hand-in-hand as we collectively fortify the agriculture sector against the challenges of climate change,” Laurel said at the kick-off of the Climate Change Consciousness (CCC) Week.
Addressing climate change “demands our prompt attention and concerted action. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has emphasized the critical need for implementing measures to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change across various sectors, especially agriculture and food production,” he added.
Laurel, who had expanded his family’s fishing business before joining the government, announced this key policy just a few weeks after his appointment. In previous public engagements, he said he has experienced the effects of climate change first-hand.
Representing Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel said the proposed 2024 DA budget includes a special provision to increase resilience among agriculture communities through infrastructure and seed development.
“Special Provision Number 15 within the budget emphasizes that the Department of Agriculture shall endeavor to increase the resilience of agriculture communities through two key approaches, first through the implementation of disaster-resilient agriculture infrastructure projects. Second, through the development of seeds that are optimally adaptive to present and future climate change conditions,” she said.
Pimentel conveyed his full support for the new Agriculture Secretary.
The Climate Change Consciousness Week also celebrates the 10th anniversary of DA’s Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) Program, which trains all communities, particularly those dependent on agriculture and fisheries, to become resilient to the increasing adverse effects of climate change.
AMIA, which has organized 181 model villages across the country, recognizes the need for adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect farmers, fisherfolk, and the environment
Serving as a source of best practices for other communities to learn and emulate, the AMIA villages are technological and institutional innovation centers with access to vital climate-relevant support services.
Tiu Laurel said AMIA is “a pivotal component of this [climate change] initiative, [and] mirrors our dedication to securing a resilient and robust agriculture sector by being a platform of partnership and innovation for climate action across the whole DA.”