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FAO warns of growing water scarcity amid climate change, population growth

/ 12:10 AM January 24, 2017

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for better water management and improved access for small farmers while Malacañang continues to find ways to make the promise of free irrigation a reality.

FAO director general José Graziano da Silva in a statement warned that growing water scarcity was one of the leading challenges for sustainable development.

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According to the United Nations agency, competition for water will intensify as the global population exceeds nine billion people around 2050.

The FAO chief urged leaders to rise to the food security challenges posed by water scarcity on two fronts: first, promoting ways to both use less water and use it more efficiently, and secondly, by taking steps to secure access to water—especially for poor family farmers.

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In the Philippines, a proposed law is being prepared to provide the National Irrigation Administration with funds to continue operations as the Duterte administration continues to find ways on how to sustain irrigation services without the collection of irrigation fees.

According to Rep. Arthur C. Yap (Bohol, third district), he is preparing a bill that would also enable the NIA to be modernized and to receive sufficient funding to carry out its critical work for farmers.

“President Duterte promised free irrigation to farmers as part of his campaign promise but without a comprehensive financial and construction program to restore, rehabilitate, maintain and expand the current irrigated lands in the country, there won’t be sufficient water to distribute, if water even reaches the farms,” Yap said.

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