Ilocos farmers learn adaptation strategies to beat climate change

Ilocos farmers learn adaptation strategies to beat climate change

LAOAG CITY — The provincial government of Ilocos Norte, in collaboration with various national government agencies and the extension directorate of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University, continues to empower farmers and teach them practical ways to sustain crop productivity in climate vulnerable areas.

Following a recent farmers training in Batac City attended by some 40 farmers representing at least four organizations in the towns of Solsona, Marcos, Vintar, and Piddig, MMSU president Dr. Shirley Agrupis urged farmers to adapt to the current challenges posed by climate change.

“You are the backbone of the economy. Without you, no one will feed the nation. I hope that you are ready to prevent if not mitigate the impact of climate change,” Agrupis said in an interview Wednesday.

Through the establishment of Science and Technology Community-Based Farm (STCBF) on Climate Resilient Technologies, farmers groups are being trained at the MMSU-University Training Center to improve their farming practices across the province.

Personnel of the MMSU extension directorate are popularizing the use of carrageenan plant growth regulator and seed inoculants to farmers.

A carrageenan plant growth regulator (CPGR) has recently been found to increase rice yield up at an average of 25 percent to 30 percent.

Carrageenan is an indigestible polysaccharide (carbohydrate) from red seaweeds, and is further degraded through modified irradiation technology that elucidates growth promotion in plants.

Studies conducted in the different areas of the country show enhanced yield even at low concentrations, making it a very effective organic fertilizer.

According to farmers who tried the technology, it is a great help especially to those who have limited financial capability.

“Immadu ti apitko idi nagusarak iti organiko nga abuno ken ti panangyaplayko kadagiti nasursurok iti panagsanay. Sapay la koma ta saanda a maum-uma a mangtultulong kadakami (My harvest increased when I applied organic fertilizer on my crops and the things I learned from the training. We hope that the government will not get tired of helping us),” a cooperator from Nueva Era said.

On the part of the provincial government, farmers associations in the province are also given agricultural products and equipment including seeds, tractors, water pumps, and backpack sprayers to enhance their productivity.

Chino Aguinaldo, one of the recipients of water pumps and backpack sprayers in Pasuquin town, thanked the provincial government for helping the farmers.

Moreover, local government units are also working on the development and improvement of agricultural infrastructure such as small farm reservoirs, small water impounding projects, and diversion dams.  Leilanie Adriano / PNA –