Irrigation agency pushes crop diversification | Inquirer Business

Irrigation agency pushes crop diversification

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 05:20 AM August 09, 2019

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is adopting diversified cropping in national and communal irrigation systems all over the country to mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change on the agricultural sector.

In a statement, the NIA said the move would secure the profitability of Filipino farmers who were often dependent on a single crop, which “exposes them to high risks of unforeseen climate events that severely affect agricultural production.”

The initiative came a day after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the farm sector shrank by 0.24 percent in the first semester of the year after crop output was stunted by dry spell brought by El Niño.


Crops make up almost half of the country’s total agricultural output, and are also the most vulnerable to weather disturbances.


“Aside from improving and breeding new crop varieties, crop diversification enhances the resistance of plants to various weather conditions. Moreover, it will increase crop portfolio,” the agency said.

“The introduction of a greater range of crop varieties will increase natural biodiversity, strengthen agro-ecosystem, reduce risk of total crop failures, and provide farmers with alternative source of income,” it added.

NIA issued a memorandum that would guide regional officers and farmers in their crop selections. A cropping calendar, that included list of climate-resilient crops,  was also provided.

The agency’s operations department will be monitoring the program as well as the provision of assistance relative to the program through monthly reports.

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TAGS: National Irrigation Administration, NIA

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