Over 60 families benefit from US-funded agri-water project

MANILA --- Over 600 local farmers are now adopting new technologies and disaster-resilient rice farming practices to reduce the impact of natural calamities and improve food security in the Bicol region. These benefits were gained through the completed P76M Bicol Agri-Water Project (BAWP) that received funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “USAID is pleased to work with our partners to help rice farmers in the Bicol region gain new knowledge and skills that will help them be prepared and more resilient to the impacts of natural hazards,” said USAID Philippines Executive Office Acting Chief Timothy Marlowe in a statement. As a result of the project’s Climate Field School Program, local government partners have also adopted the use of a seasonal climate forecast. USAID also presented the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) with a training manual for farmers on how natural disasters impact rice production and how they could use different farming techniques to improve harvests. “Preparedness is much better and cheaper than response and through the Bicol Agri-Water Project, farmers are now better prepared for the future,” said DA-Regional Field Officer 5 Regional Executive Director Dr. Elena De Los Santos. The project is implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI), in partnership with the DA’s Regional Field Office 5 (DA-RFO5), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), International Research Institute – Columbia University, Central Bicol State University, Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry, and the local governments of Camarines Sur, Albay, Nabua, Buhi and Polangui. (LDV/PNA)