2 MP towns: pilot areas for SAFE project

BONTOC, Mountain Province – To further capacitate the communities of the province towards disaster resiliency while mitigating the effects of climate change in the local agriculture, demo farms will be piloted by the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) in the municipalities of Sadanga and Bauko.

This is through the project “Disaster Risk Reduction of Climate Change Impacts on Vulnerable Farms in Mountain Province” being implemented by MPSPC through its Research Development and Extension Services Unit.

Barangay Monamon Sur of Bauko and Barangay Anabel of Sadanga were selected as the project fields by the Science and Technology Action Frontline for Emergencies and Hazards (SAFE) program with the 2013-2016 Municipal Annual reports as basis for selection. Per record, these municipalities were identified as the most vulnerable areas with histories of crop damage and soil erosion attributed to climate change.

Per study conducted by MPSPC, Bauko is said to be one of the main producer of commercial semi-temperate vegetables such as cabbage, potato, while potato, carrots, garden pea, and tapered sweet pepper. Meanwhile, Sadanga is also a source of field bean and sweet potato. However, these communities experience hazards in their farms such as soil erosion, soil infertility, pests and diseases and water shortage among others.

To kick off the project MPSPC, as the project holder, coordinated with the Municipal Local Government Units (MLGU) of Sadanga and Bauko through their Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRRM) Offices for the conduct of meetings among the project team and the pilot communities. It also cooperated with the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) and Farmers Association of the two municipalities for further support.

As a result, an inception meeting and the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between MPSPC President Rexton F. Chakas and Sadanga-LGU Mayor Jose A. Limmayog, Jr., was held at the Sadanga Municipal Hall last October 25, 2017.  The same event will also be conducted in the municipality of Bauko sometime in November.

In his message Dr. Chakas said that Science and Technology intervention is expected to help in the development of resilient farms against the adverse impacts of climate change. He expressed hope that the demo-farms will be effective and adaptable in the identified areas.

MPSPC Vice-President for Research Development and Extension Services Annie Grail F. Ekid also said that the demo-farms are expected to address major constraints faced by farmers in the localities.

“We have high hopes that the project will substantiate the knowledge of farmers in farm management and would somehow address the current problems in the agricultural farms,” Ekid said.

Mayor Limmayog extended his people’s gratitude for the project which he said will surely benefit his constituents. Also, he assured the college officials of Sadanga LGU’s support and cooperation in this endeavor.

 

MPSPC Extension Director-Designate Elmer D. Pakipak said that the project needs the support of the community and the cooperation of all other stakeholders from the beginning up to end to ensure its success.

During the meeting, farmer-cooperators from the farmer organizations were asked to take charge of the demo-farms.

According to Pakipak, clusters of farmer-cooperators composed of 15 members each will be organized. One cluster will be in charge per municipality in each year and will be working hand-in-hand with the local team. Moreover, the local team will be composed of the Project Leader, Technical Experts, farm-leader and LGU representatives as Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA) Champion, DOST representative, Science Research Assistant and a Science Aide.

Given the two-year time frame for the project that shall start this 2017 until 2019, technologies for the demo-farm will be introduced to the stakeholders.  The technological interventions will include the construction of rainwater harvesting tank for irrigation water, installation of simple drip systems during summer months, installation of plastic-tunnel as crop shelters during the rainy months, cropping patterns using resilient varieties, soil fertility management for resilient varieties and pest and disease management of crops in the sites.

Throughout the duration of implementation, the project is expected to provide two rainwater harvesting tank, two tunnel type crop shelters and two training modules for the recipient communities. The project will also train two farmer leaders and seven LGU officials/employees as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) pool of champions, train 28 farmer cooperators and capacitate two women’s group. In addition, it will produce three Information and Education Campaign (IEC) materials, forge two MOA on DRR/CCA sustainability and create a policy on DRR/CCA for agriculture covering the municipal and barangay level.

The proposed total budget for the implementation of the project in Sadanga and Bauko is PhP 8,783,847.00. The budget shall be allocated by the different agencies alongside the counterpart of the stakeholders.

President Chakas, in a separate interview, remarked that disaster resiliency and climate change adaptation and mitigation has been part of the major thrusts of the college.

Furthermore, Chakas added that through its research and extension services, MPSPC is trying its best to reach out to communities and extend assistance for the uplift of the constituents’ socio-economic conditions. He also assured the academe’s continuous support and willingness to partner with LGUs and other agencies in bringing government programs and services closer to the people of the province.

MPSPC is one of the six State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) which are piloting the SAFE’s projects on “Disaster Risk Reduction of Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Farms in the Cordillera Administrative Region.”

The SAFE projects were approved by the Philippine Council of Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources, Research and Development (PCAARRD) for implementation.

By Rose D. Dagupen and Alpine L. Killa

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