PALO, Leyte- Measures on making the agriculture sector endure the ever-changing climate was discussed during a summit held this town attended by the concerned sector.
The one-day summit, dubbed as “climate change and agriculture summit”, aim to provide a platform for local government units, development planners, farmer leaders and other stakeholders in the province to deliberate the challenges and threats to agriculture in general and create a plan of action to minimize the impact of climate change on agriculture.
The summit, held this town last August 23, was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. and Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC).
The summit was also launch in part to protect hundreds of farmers in the province through proper information on available technology and practices to cope with the changing climate in agriculture.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo Petilla said there are continuous efforts from the local and national governments as well as private partners such as the PMFTC to help farmers cope with the impacts of climate change and ensure agriculture productivity.
“Farmers in Leyte have experienced firsthand how climate change is impacting on our agriculture as we are ground zero of supertyphoon Yolanda,” Petilla said.
He likewise mentioned that the agriculture industry in the province also suffered a setback during typhoon ‘Senyang’ in 2014 just more than a year after Yolanda.
“Storms are getting stronger and we cannot do anything to stop it. Thus, we have the need to adapt to these changes,” Petilla added.
Meanwhile, PMFTC president Roman Militsyn shared with the participants that the company has been involved in various undertakings that aim to improve the lives of farmers and help improve the state of the country’s agriculture.
He said he is hopeful that summit such as this will be helpful to the farmers and support the government in making the agriculture sector sustainable.
A similar climate change and agriculture summit is set to be conducted in other key regions. Leyte was chosen as the launching pad as it was Yolanda’s ground zero.
Varinia “Bayen” Elero-Tinga, PMFTC director for external affairs, said the province is the best area to launch such a campaign on climate change as it experienced firsthand the devastation of the world’s strongest typhoon to hit inland.
The summit was aimed to facilitate the formulation of concrete plan of action for climate resilient agriculture industry; build partnerships for resilience in agriculture; promote the application of information, technology and policies conducive to increased and sustainable agricultural production yields, productivity and sustainable development; and explore and share knowledge and responses of agriculture to climate change adaptation and mitigation.