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Organic agriculture vs climate change?

MANILA, Philippines – Win over climate change by engaging in organic agriculture.

Dr. Victoria Espaldon, professor and dean of the School of Environmental Management of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB-SEM), gave this advice recently to farmers in the hope of winning them over from conventional farming.

Espaldon made the pitch in a seminar held in conjunction with the 7th National Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

Organic agriculture and diversified farming are the antidote to global warming, she declared, as she encouraged forum participants to think out of the box in battling climate change. “It is imperative that the agriculture sector adapt to climate change,” she stressed.

She also asked farmers not to be overly concerned with eliminating weeds that are actually, structurally and genetically, akin to organic fertilizer apart from possessing compounds with anti-cancer properties and characteristics with high pharmaceutical potential.

Espaldon emphasized the significant impact that organic farming and crop diversification could bring to the farming communities.

The best climate change strategies, she said, includes sustainable agriculture and good agricultural practices.

Use climate-ready crops, integrate livestock and non-farm income generating activities, adjust the seasonal calendar, employ climate-resilient post-harvest storage and post-harvest processing, and include climate risks in agricultural planning were some of the suggestions she made.

Espaldon said organic agriculture promotes better water infiltration, retention, and delivery to plants, and these actions sustain crop yield during drought.

She related the experiences of some farms in Puerto Princesa City, Davao, and Bukidnon, all of which employ agricultural practices that defy the prevailing system of farm management. (Marvyn N. Benaning)