According to a 2018 assessment by HSBC, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. To promote high-level discussions on the options for agriculture and rural communities, the International Potato Center (CIP) and CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) brought together approximately 60 representatives of government and civil society for a policy forum on “Opportunities for a climate-smart food system in the Philippines,” held in Pasig City, Manila on February 7.
Representatives of government agencies, universities, NGOs and international organizations listened to presentations on empirical findings from the field, insights from policy makers and the experiences of rice, maize and sweetpotato farmers from different regions of the Philippines. According to Samarendu Mohanty, CIP’s Regional Director for Asia, the forum facilitated important discussions on adaption to climate change.
Mohanty noted that the challenge facing crop scientists is to figure out how to increase agricultural productivity, enhance food and nutritional security, and raise farmer incomes while building resilience to climate change and reducing agricultural and food systems’ greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.
One forum participant, Aileen Peria, an extension specialist at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, enthused about the forum, noting that it elicited important insights. “It sent us home with ideas and hope that our ‘resilient’ country can soon achieve food security despite the threats of natural disasters due to the changing climate,” she observed.