THE El Niño phenomenon will hit the country in the first quarter of this year, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Are we prepared for this dry spell?
Freak weather patterns spawned by climate change upset planting seasons and hurt crop yields. A prolonged dry spell will surely adversely affect farm production and, in turn, our food security.
This early, the Department of Agriculture must prepare mitigation plans on the adverse impact of a prolonged dry spell on rice, corn and other agricultural harvests. It should streamline its budget to ensure that a fair share of the fund would go to programs meant to attain food security and sufficiency in the medium term despite climate change.
With the Philippines still mainly an agricultural country, El Niño’s impact will be hard as the country had experienced in the past. Advocates of organic farming are pitching for the shift to organic farming. The excessive use of chemical fertilizers in farms contributes to global warming and climate change.
By shifting from conventional farming to organic farming, greenhouse gas emissions will be lessened and help fight the adverse effects of climate change, which in turn will weaken the El Niño phenomenon.
Chemical-based agriculture, which accounts for 33 percent of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, is being blamed for global warming. Organic farming helps stabilize the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as it makes use of organic fertilizer, thus helping farmers veer away from excessive use of often harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the air, soil and water.
The problem is actually interconnected. Unless authorities realize this, the cycle of El Niño and climate change will continue to be with us.