By: Jastine Marano
“Provide solutions to the problem through science and technology.“
This was the statement of Dr. Orlando Balderama in an interview as he endorsed the upcoming climate-related policy forum on rice and corn entitled, “Climate Change Scenarios, Adaptations and Decision Support System” on July 22, 2015 at the Alba Hall of Isabela State University in Echague, Isabela.
This is in line with the objective to undertake capacity building through information, education and communication (IEC), training and policy formulation of the project led by Dr. Balderama, entitled “Modeling Potential Productivity and Climate Change Sensitivity of Corn and Rice Crops using Simulation Modeling in the Abuan Watershed”, funded by the Oscar M Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Foundation, Inc. (OML Center).
At most 150 participants from various institutions at the regional and national levels will be invited to attend the forum to present the result of their research studies regarding the pressing concerns on the climate-related extremes affecting grain crops production specifically corn and rice.
Some of the organizations that are expected to come are the World Wide Fund, Oscar M. Lopez Center, Isabela State University, IBM-Philippines and the International Rice Research Institute.
The forum aims to create a venue to engage the stakeholders in Cagayan Valley in discussions about the effects of climate change on rice and corn production. In addition, it also aims to help the policy makers and advisers in synthesizing the results of the scientific research studies which they can use in crafting climate-related policies to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change in agriculture.
To date, the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela are considered as the top rice and corn producers contributing 13% and 24% respectively to the total national production.
With climate change, the provinces are posed with serious threats on its agricultural productivity as well as the citizens’ livelihoods.
According to PAG-ASA, Cagayan valley will be faced with major changes in weather patterns as a result of the changing climate. By 2050, the temperature is expected to increase from 1.9 to 2.1 degree Celsius. Locals may anticipate prolonged dry spells during summer and an intense rainfalls during wet season.
As a response, the participating agencies and institutions put a stress on the need to “strengthen the support on science-based innovation solutions, initiate cross-sectional networks among the policy makers, practitioners and other researchers and build linkages between the national and local government in the implementation of climate change adaptation solutions,” Dr. Balderama added.
IBM, as one of the sponsor agencies of the forum, will help in developing an Information Communication and Technology-based system which can easily reach and consequently, help the farmers to create strategic decisions on their farm operations.