PAMPLONA, CAM. SUR – Barangay, Cagbunga of this municipality  a small  agricultural community  which is located along the  Bicol River  is prone to flooding  whenever the river overflows  and  its interior sitios  and neighboring barangays are prone to drought especially during the dry months.  But despite their location’s vulnerability to  flooding and drought , the people of this barangay are industrious, tenacious  and resilient.

Through  the years the residents of Cagbunga and the neighboring barangays  have learned to adapt to the   vagaries of weather  and found ways to mitigate the  adverse impact  of the various  factors that affect their livelihood and existence.    For these  they were  chosen to be the pilot  site for the  implementation of the Adaptation and  Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture Project (AMIA) of the Department of Agriculture.  Their community has been dubbed as the AMIA Village as it showcases various interventions and initiatives to  address climate change in agriculture.

According to Sandy, Bobier, the project research assistant,  some of the interventions introduced in the community were the use of  Green Super Rice (GSR)  11 variety which is known to be  flood  and saline tolerant; the planting of Taro varieties ; the use of   Ultra Violet Stabilized (UVS )Plastic  as dryer ; Crop Rain sheltering; Rice-duck integration; nipa fruit processing; use of farm weather advisory and availment of crop insurance.

Alongside with these interventions extension support via  the Climate Resiliency Farmers School was conducted  in the community  with  80 participants   for  five  months from June to October  2018 .

During the simple graduation ceremonies  held on October 31 at the barangay chapel, the Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) Digest in flip chart format  were turned over to the community   through  the Barangay chairperson Noli Panti and to the  Municipal Local  Government Unit through  Danilo Bordon, the municipal agriculturist.  Also present during the  graduation ceremonies were Luz Marcelino, chief of the DA Research Division, Lorenzo Alvina, DA’s focal person on Disaster Risk Management (DRRM); and  Emily Bordado; Chief  of the DA Information section; other barangay officials and farmer leaders  from Cagbunga, Cagbibi and Patong.

The highlight of the event was the  testimonies rendered   by the farmer cooperators and beneficiaries of the  various interventions. Judith Imperial shared how she was able to attain  a higher yield from the usual 13 cavans to 40 cavans by using the GSR 11 variety.  Aurora San Juan and Rufina Sabalboro related that heir taro  have yielded big leaves and have grown so tall  and recovered fast even when salt water intruded into their field.    Enelia Sabalboro  enthused about  the effectiveness and efficiency of using  UVS plastic sheet   placed  at about  2 feet  over  the palay grains  to hasten drying.

Rufina Sabalboro  and Monina  de Belen also shared their experience in  rice-duck integration .  The duck eggs provided food for their family .  Cecilia  Quipayo on the other hand  tried processing the nipa fruits  which used to be ignored  in their  community.  “Dati dai pinapansin . Pwede palan  source of income siya”, she bared.  The  Bureau of Agricultural Research   through DA Regional  Research Division under  Mrs Marcelino has funded the project  with  Arlene I. de Asis providing the technical assistance  and training for the women.

Monina de Belen  attested that the Farm Weather Advisory  provided by the project has guided her when to start planting.  She noted though that the rain forecast  being aired on the local tv channel does not conform  with the rain forecast  mentioned in the  Farm Weather Advisory  provided by AMIA so she is  sometimes  confused.

Meanwhile Norma  Leosala  shared  the  benefits from availing  of Crop Insurance  which somehow eased her woes whne a typhoon damages her crops.   By carefully listening to the explanations of the PCIC  representatives  she was able to comply with the requirements.  She  said non-approval of claims is primarily due  to the discrepancy  in data provided  by the claimant .  “Mayo nin paboritismo  sa pagtao nin indemnification kan PCIC, she  asserts.

According to Alvina AMIA aims to build climate resilient communities  by using new tools and  developing new ways of doing things in mainstreaming  climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies  in the country . ( Emily B. Bordado/DA-RAFIS)