At least 50 farmers of Barangay  Cagbunga in Pamplona Camarines sur can’t hide their delight when they were visited by the technical staff from the Department of Agriculture and the Provincial  Local Government  of this province on January 24, 2019. The site visit was part of the monitoring activity of the AMIA 2 and AMIA 3 projects. Barangay Cagbunga was  selected as beneficiary of  the AMIA 2 pilot project in Bicol Region sometime in 2016 because of its high vulnerability to climate risk   particularly saline water intrusion during wet season.

AMIA which  stands for  strengthening Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture  was launched earlier in 2015 by the Department of Agriculture in partnership with the South East Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research (SEARCA) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI). Said program aims to set up model communities where technological innovations are introduced so that these AMIA villages will have access to climate relevant support services.

Ulysses Nichols Manalo , Chief, DA System Wide Climate change Office lauded the farmers mostly women for adapting what they learned from the 2 year project. He enjoined the participants to share their experiences to the neighbouring barangays and to other farmers. “We’re  here because we will continue what we have started. We are almost done, this time we have to level up and engage in more income generating projects,” he said.  Also present were Danilo Bordon, Municipal Agriculturist of  Pamplona  Camarines Sur and Barangay  Captain  & RAFC chair  Noli Pante .

Earlier ,  the team had a brief  meeting with DA Bicol key officials headed by Dr. Elena B. De los Santos. Accomplishments of AMIA 2 & 3 2018 and strategic plan for AMIA 4 (2019) were presented. AMIA 4 will be implemented from January to December 2019 with an approved budget of Ps 7,225,000.00. Project sites include all provinces in the Bicol Region.  Dr. De Los Santos called for the participation of the Local Government Units to sustain the project. She stressed the need to strengthen local governance by way of ordinances and capacitate them thru fund support.

Meanwhile, The team also  interacted with the  Municipal Agriculturist, Agricultural workers, Barangay officials   and selected farmers of Barangay Burukbusok in Buhi Camarines Sur. Said barangay was also a beneficiary of AMIA3 project which was  implemented  by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur  thru the  effort of Luzena “Chie”  Bermeo,  OIC , Provincial Agriculturist who is also part of the team. Various issues (hazards) such as  drought and landslides were raised during the meeting. The presence of insect pests such as “waya-waya” was also a major issue. Bermeo suggested to practice inter-cropping to break the cycle and adapt synchronize farming. As part of the project component, an Automated Weather Station (AWS) will be introduced  to forecast a ten day weather condition. (B. Nunez)