April 30, 2014
NABUA, CAMARINES SUR --- Comes May the Department of Agriculture RFO 5 Corn Program in cooperation with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and LGUs, will conduct a massive Climate Farmers Field School (CFFS) on corn to help corn farmers be resilient to climate change. A total of thirty (30) pilot CFFS will be conducted for four (4) months starting May (wet cropping season).
In preparation for this, over seventy (70) agricultural extension workers (AEWs) of the Department of Agriculture 5 Corn program attended a three (3) day Trainers’ Training on Climate Farmers Field School for corn held at the Macagang Business Center here on April 28-30.
Eduardo Lomerio, Chief of the DA Bicol Operations Division and Regional Corn Program coordinator said that after this crash course, these AEWs will simultaneously conduct the targeted thirty (30) CFFS to coincide with typhoon months to test Good Practice Options (GPOs)suited for this kind of weather disturbance. He added that the DA 5 AgriPinoy corn program has already transferred a total of P1 million to the Agricultural Training Institute for the procurement of inputs and supplies to be used in the conduct of the CFFS.
FFS sites include: seventeen (17) sites in Camarines Sur; seven (7) in Albay; one (1) in Camarines Norte; and five (5) in Masbate.
The CFFS is in response to the directive from Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala to incorporate topics on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in all trainings of the DA. Lomerio also added that the DA Central Office is coming up with a manual of operation where the CFFS training will be mainstreamed in the said manual.
The same modules used during regular FFS on corn will be used for this FFS except that it will include and give more focus on PAGASA weather forecasting – how it can be related to farmers field. The AEWS will be obliged to observe the weather and teach farmers in using the weather data in their corn fields.
The first day of the training was spent at the CBSUA Agromet Station wherein Alfredo Consulta, Chief Meteorological Officer discussed how the station provides daily agri meteorological forecast/bulletin and other important information needed by the farmers .
Meanwhile, the topics discussed during the training at Nabua include: weather interpretation and common weather and climate terms by Dr. Landrico Dalida, Chief, PAGASA Southern Luzon Bureau; Basic Data Gathering Techniques, Automated Weather Stations and Basic Operation of Rain gauge by Allan Almojuela of PAGASA; Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) and Climate Adaptation Techniques discussed by Dr. Salvadora Gavino Agriculturist II of DA; Pests and Diseases occurrence on Changing Climate by Dr. Evangeline dela Trinidad, Chief of DA Integrated Laboratories and Regional Crop Protection Center; Soil Nutrient requirement by Romulo Cambaya; and Growth Stages of Corn Affected by Climate Change by Edgardo dela Torre of FAO. Reynaldo Dizon of ATI presented the final module for CFFS corn as output of the workshop. (Lovella P. Guarin)