Saturday, February 27, 2010

'We need a strategy for El Niño'

Dulce Sanchez in the The Philippine Star: The head of an international crop research institute is calling on the Philippines and other countries affected by drought to “go on a war footing” to cope with the El Niño weather phenomenon and climate change. Dr. William Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), said several crises – aside from drought – confront global agriculture today.

“Warming temperatures, floods, increasing land degradation, rising food prices, zooming energy demand and population explosion are creating extreme challenges to feed the world. We can avert this potential ‘climaggedon’ through a strong political will and collective action by the global community,” he said. Dar said there is a need for a long-term strategy to deal with climate change and El Niño rather than simply taking reactive measures.

He said there is a need for institutional mechanisms to develop and implement a strategy of “adaptation and mitigation for our farmers to surmount climate change and the continuing onslaught of El Niño.” Dar said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) estimates that there would be a 40 to 60 percent reduction in rainfall that will last until June, and the Department of Agriculture projects that this could cut rice production by 816,372 tons worth P12.24 billion.

He also said the areas hardest hit by the drought are Cagayan and Isabela which are major producers of rice. He added that the production of other crops like corn, sugar cane, vegetables and other agricultural products will also be severely affected....

Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines, where traditional landraces have been grown for thousands of years. From McCouch S: Diversifying Selection in Plant Breeding. PLoS Biol 2/10/2004: e347. This image was published in a Public Library of Science journal. Their website states that the content of all PLoS journals is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!