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Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in the Philippines

Being on top of global surveys is good. However, if we’re talking about the country which is most threatened by climate change, then being number one is not the happiest place to be. As per the Global Peace Index 2019, the Philippines was named the country with the highest risk of climate hazards in Asia-Pacific. Besides being hit by an average of 20 typhoons annually, the country is also vulnerable to floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and droughts. Climate change will only aggravate many of these challenges facing the Philippines.

Climate Trends

It’s undeniable that summer in the Philippines is getting hotter than before. Look at the data. Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) report, temperatures may rise by 0.9 degrees Celcius to 1.1 degrees Celsius this year, and by 1.8 degrees Celcius to 2.2 degrees Celsius in 2050. This means the country can experience a maximum temperature exceeding 35 degrees Celcius.

Although there is a possibility that heavy daily rainfall will become more frequent, specifically in Luzon and Visayas, the number of dry days is also expected to increase across the country by 2020 up to 2050. Given these scenarios, let’s take a look at the consequences or effects of climate change on agriculture in the Philippines?

Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture

A warming planet is bad for living things, particularly plants and crops. It needs the right amount of temperature and rainfall to attain favorable yields of crop production. If both exceed the standard threshold values, there will be a reduction in crop yield. This is why floods and droughts brought on by climate change can damage fields, even triggering outbreaks and diseases in both humans and animals.

Moreover, it may result in low preference jobs in agriculture opportunities in the agriculture sector because farmers would rather find work in the city than fight an unpredictable and unbeatable enemy that is climate change. This reiterated by PAGASA because according to them decreased yields and inadequate job opportunities in the agricultural sector could lead to migration and shifts in population, resulting in more pressure in already depressed urban areas, particularly in megacities.

How to Mitigate Climate Change in Agriculture? 

PAGASA stated in the same report that management technologies, “which incorporate the use of weather/climate information in agricultural operations” like “climate-friendly agricultural technologies,” can alleviate detrimental effect of climate change.

Fortunately, there is an app that was recently launched in the Philippines called Yara FarmWeather. It’s an easy-to-use and convenient smart weather app that provides farmers with a reliable and hyperlocal weather forecast down to a 4-kilometer radius of their farm. This includes 7-day forecasts for hourly rainfall, daily temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction. Yara FarmWeather also provides historical rainfall data for the past 30 days and predicts upcoming rainfall data for the next 15 days. With all this information on hand, farmers can now make more informed and smarter decisions for their farms.

Farming got smarter with Yara FarmWeather. Download it for free in Google Play Store.

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The State of Farming in The Philippines

In a country where rice is the staple food, farming in the Philippines remains one of the most important sectors. Well aware of this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched the ‘Plant, Plant, Plant Program’ to ensure food security in the country during this national state of emergency due to the COVID -19 pandemic.

The Philippines didn’t fare well in the last quarter of 2019 in terms of Agriculture Performance, where it only grew by 0.4 percent. Now, the government must triple its efforts to increase food production during the enhanced community quarantine, which is extended until May 31, 2020. Agriculture secretary William Dar said in an article published in Philippine Information Agency the ‘Plant, Plant, Plant Program,’ “aims to further improve our food adequacy levels through increased rice, food crops, livestock, poultry and fish production, including that of attaining efficient food processing, marketing, and distribution to major consumption centers.”

Part of the program is the ‘Rice Resiliency Project’ to further strengthen the farming in the Philippines not just during the country’s fight against the pandemic but also to boost palay production to 22.12 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020. It allots a P8.5-billion fund “to expand production areas, improve yields, and ensure availability of rice in the country,” DA secretary Dar said.

Other projects are social amelioration for farmers and farm workers; additional palay procurement funds of the National Food Authority and expanded SURE Aid and recovery project. The DA is adamant to invest more in agriculture and fishery stakeholders because the secretary believes that food security front liners — farmers, fishers, and other workers in the food value chain — will play a crucial part in our fight against COVID-19.”

Additionally, the government must take into account the threat of climate change to farming in the Philippines. Cash aids while necessary are inadequate. What is also needed is the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) like mobile applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Drone Technology. One example of effective mobile apps is Yara FarmWeather an easy-to-use, and convenient smart weather app available for download in Google Play Store.

Yara FarmWeather provides reliable and hyperlocal weather forecast down to a 4-kilometer radius. It is designed for small landowner farmers that could help them make smarter decisions for their farm. It provides 7-day forecasts for hourly rainfall, daily temperature, humidity, and wind. Furthermore, the app predicts rainfall for the upcoming 15 days and reviews rainfall from the past 30 days.  Farming in the Philippines just got smarter with Yara FarmWeather.

As farming in the Philippines faces several problems, proactive solutions like ICT must be implemented together with the full support of the government. Likewise, other key players including multi-national companies, agriculture and fishery industry leaders and organizations, and agricultural state universities and colleges (SUCs) must also join together to help farmers combat the common enemy that is climate change that threatens the national food security.

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Cash Aids and Smart Farming Solutions Help Filipino Farmers Survive the COVID-19 Crisis

“Stay home. Save lives.” For weeks, this has been the battle cry all over the world in an effort to defeat the lethal Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, some sectors have been unable to abide by the order because it would cripple the society and one of which is the agricultural sector. According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) chair, Rosendo So, at an emailed statement to GMA News, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of a possible food emergency because countries have closed their borders to help fight the COVID-19 crisis. This is why the Philippine government has been finding ways to prevent this by giving away cash aids to farmers and devising smart farming solutions.

Exempt Food Producers During Lockdown

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Memorandum Circular No. 7 and 9 of 2020 allows all farming and fishing activities to continue. It also permits unhampered movement of all supplies used for agricultural, including food packaging and manufacturing materials.

Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19

Also known as the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program.” As explained by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, this program aims to increase farm productivity and ensure food sufficiency during the COVID-19 crisis. It provides farmers with working capital to continue operations where they can borrow non-collateralized loans at zero interest and are payable in 5 to 10 years.

Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita

This smart farming solution is an initiative of the government to connect producers like farmers and consumers. DA Secretary Dar states that it assures farmers they get the best prices for their goods and also provides consumers with readily available and affordable fresh produce even amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Cash Aid to Small- and Medium-Landowner Farmers

The government will give a P5,000 cash subsidy to farmers who plant one hectare or less under the Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) program. While those farmers tilling 0.5-2 hectares farmland will be given the same amount under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program.

Smart Farming Solution

As the world’s population balloons, agricultural technologists continue to innovate smart farming techniques to keep up with the rising demand for food. In the Philippines, too, farming just got smarter with Yara FarmWeather. It is an easy-to-use and convenient smart weather app that delivers hyperlocal forecasts down to a 4-km radius of the farm. This will help farmers make better and more informed decisions such as when to apply fertilizer and pesticides, and when to irrigate, thereby minimizing repeated application. FarmWeather also enables farmers to monitor the weather in the comfort of their homes or anywhere else once they have saved their farm locations. Yara FarmWeather is the newest launched farm weather app in the Philippines. Farmers can now download and get it for free in Google Play Store. No registration required.

While the world is at a standstill because of the COVID-19 crisis, front-liners like farmers work tirelessly for long hours to prevent the looming food crisis despite earning low wages and the dangers of COVID-19. Farmers need all the help they can get like cash grants and smart farming solutions as they are essential more than ever.

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How to Prepare Farms Before the Summer Season in the Philippines

It couldn’t be stressed enough the importance of land preparation in farming, especially during the summer season. Or aptly called ‘dry season’ according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). The weather bureau also predicts that the country will suffer from a hotter dry season starting this year onwards. It could experience a temperature of more than 35 degrees Celsius in the coming years. This is the challenge Filipino farmers face right now, as this will be the new normal. In the busiest season of the year, here are the things to prepare for summer farming:

Irrigation System

Dry season means there’s a low chance of rain. This is why irrigation is one of the most important farm tools used in land preparation. Borrowing from the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service (USNRCS) resources with regards to summer farming, a good irrigation system is one that can help farmers provide adequate water supply for their crops to attain higher yields. There should be a sturdy water storage system that holds the water with a measuring device to monitor the use of water.

Tools and Implements

Other than keeping in mind the importance of land preparation in farming by implementing a good irrigation system, tools and machinery should always be kept in good condition. Farm tools used in land preparation like tractor, rototiller, and plow must be well-maintained. During the dry season, farmers not only have to worry about farm machinery bogging down. Hence, it is important to run a complete maintenance check to prevent worrisome delays in farm operations.

Farming Mobile Applications

The use of technology as a farm tool used in land preparation is nothing new. In an article published in Interaksyon, Japanese-made drones have been flying over the fields in the country farms to spray fertilizers and pesticides on vegetable farms. However, this pricey innovation cannot be acquired yet by many small landowner farmers.

In the Philippines, a mobile app useful for summer farming was recently launched. Known as Yara FarmWeather, the app is an easy-to-use and convenient smart weather app developed for small landowner farmers, available for free to download in Google Play Store. Based on IBM’s data platforms, it delivers reliable and hyperlocal forecasts down to the accuracy of 4-km radius of your farm.

Yara FarmWeather predicts rainfall on your farm for the next 15 days and lets you review rainfall from the past 30 days. It also provides 7-day forecasts for hourly rainfall, daily temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction. Once you have saved the location of your farm, you can access the weather information from your home or wherever you are. Having good knowledge of the location’s climate will be indispensable in a successful drought mitigation effort. There’s no more need for second-guessing because farmers can now monitor the weather anytime, anywhere.

Now, farming just got smarter with Yara FarmWeather.

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How to Use Yara FarmWeather App and its Features

This New Smart Farming Technique Helps Farmers to be Weather-Ready

Pestilence, water pollution, fire, and soil erosion are some of the natural threats farmers in the Philippines are currently facing. But there is an agricultural problem that even seasoned farmers cannot defeat, and it is none other than typhoons. This calls for innovative and smart farming techniques considering the Philippines has an average of 20 typhoons every year. Thankfully, there is an app for that called the Yara FarmWeather App to help farmers become more weather prepared.

Yara FarmWeather is an easy-to-use and convenient smart weather app for small landowner farmers. While one can get an updated weather forecast by watching the news or easily searching on Google. Yet, it only gives general weather conditions for a large area, for example, at a provincial or regional level. On the other hand, FarmWeather uses the farm’s exact location to deliver hyperlocal and accurate forecast down to a 4-km radius. This is one of the smart farming techniques an internet savvy country like the Philippines can easily adopt.

Yara developed the app leveraging IBM’s data platforms. Designed with farmers for farmers, the benefits of FarmWeather are manifold including:

-Make informed decisions whether you should carry out, adjust, or withhold farming activities to avoid damaging your crops.
-Plan everything from seeding, irrigation, and pesticides more efficiently by tracing historical weather patterns.
-Monitor weather conditions for multiple farm locations right no matter where you are, even from the comfort of your home.
-Be more productive by assessing field workability through real-time notifications.
-Save your phone’s battery as you can check the weather even with GPS disabled.
-Share with fellow farmers by sending weather updates via Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, SMS, and more right from the app.
-Multiple language options including English, Tagalog, and more.

Farmers can download FarmWeather in Google Play Store now. It’s free and no registration required.  Watch the short tutorial below on how to use it:

The Yara FarmWeather app offers farmers in the Philippines a proactive solution to monitor and protect their farms, which is a source of their livelihood. A weather app that promotes a unique smart farming technique that helps farmers be more efficient and make better and more informed decisions around important on-farm activities.

Now, farming in the Philippines got smarter with the Yara FarmWeather.

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Why Filipino Farmers are Excited about the Yara FarmWeather App

“Definitely!” is the usual response of farmers when asked whether they are willing to use the Yara FarmWeather app. Given the farmers’ familiarity with the Yara brand of fertilizers, the app’s credibility is not at all surprising. Camar Paidumama, a mango plantation owner at General Santos City, who has been using a different weather forecast app for some time was more than willing to try the Yara FarmWeather app. Considering his disappointment with the inaccuracies of the current weather app he is using, he was pleasantly surprised by FarmWeather’s capabilities.

With FarmWeather, farmers get the relevant weather information they need for their farm, including a 7-day forecast for hourly rainfall, daily temperatures, and wind speed/direction, along with the rainfall amount for the next 15 days and past 30 days. Daily and weekly in-app alerts on the relevant rainfall amount allow farmers to stay updated even when they are not at their farms.

It is no wonder that Joselito Francisco, Edwin Cruz, and Felixberto Sarmiento – farm owners from different parts of the country – expressed excitement to use the app as accurate weather forecasting is vital for helping them make informed decisions around important on-farm activities. As experienced farmers, they know all too well that farming requires careful consideration of which techniques to implement and which products to use. Farmers want to utilize a hyperlocal weather forecast app that not only provides relevant information that guides them in their agronomic decisions but is also simple to use and reliable, and that’s Yara FarmWeather.  

The Yara FarmWeather app’s launch in The Philippines marks a significant time for Filipino farmers to carefully consider how they can leverage new technologies available for their use.

Recently launched in The Philippines, Filipino farmers can now leverage and make the fullest use of the FarmWeather app to help them make the best decisions for their farms.

Farming got smarter with Yara FarmWeather. Why wait? Download the app now on Google Play!

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The Game Changer for Farming Arrives in The Philippines

There is no aspect of farming that is immune to the impact of weather. It impacts crop growth and yield, and plays a role in the frequency and spread of pests and diseases. While weather conditions are beyond a farmer’s control, limiting the effects of weather doesn’t have to be.

Yara FarmWeather is a free weather app that offers hyperlocal weather forecasts for farms. It provides accurate predictions for hourly rainfall, daily temperatures, and wind speed and direction.

Rainfall measurements for the next 15 days and the past 30 days help farmers forecast the occurrence and non-occurrence of rain, so they can better plan for dry spells and the type of rain that can be expected.

Notifications and sharable in-app alerts ensure farmers don’t miss any important weather updates. These have already helped a community of over 1 million farmers across Asia* safeguard their crops against the effects of weather.

Farming got smarter with Yara FarmWeather. Begin receiving hyperlocal, reliable, and convenient weather forecasts today – it’s time farmers took weather matters into their own hands.

Download Yara FarmWeather from Google Play Store.  

 

* Yara FarmWeather is available in India, Kenya, Spain, Thailand, and The Philippines. It is translated in English, Español, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Thai, and Tagalog.

 

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Yara FarmWeather App Helps in Fighting “Kurikong” Disease

The recently concluded First Luzon Mango Congress held at the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils and Water Management last February 19 – 20, 2020, emphasized the pressing need for assistance of our mango farmers. In attendance were the mango growers, exporters, wholesalers, spray contractors, processors, and members of the United Luzon Mango Stakeholders Association, Inc.

The focus of the event is the “kurikong” disease which has been damaging the farmers’ produce at an alarming rate. The Cecid fly (locally named “kurikong”) has been infesting numerous plantations and the widespread damage poses a serious threat to our local and international mango production. Cecid flies lay eggs on the fruit and feed on it, causing the larva-infested fruit to develop brown circular spots which significantly lessen the mangoes’ market value. Guest speaker Senator Imee Marcos, a mango plantation owner herself, likewise stressed the imperativeness of collective effort in preventing this mosquito-like fly from further damaging crops.

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As farmers are asked to follow best practices prescribed by the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to prevent their crops from being infested, along comes the importance of accurate weather forecasting among others. Yara FarmWeather app’s ability to provide relevant rainfall and weather updates coupled with keen implementation of pesticide management, flushing, and timely bagging, the fight against the “kurikong” pest becomes manageable. Equipped with functions such as offline checking of saved locations’ weather, 15-day weather forecast, timely and relevant notifications, Yara FarmWeather app makes farming smarter not only in preventing pest infestations but also in daily agronomic planning.

Being the key people behind the Philippines’ national fruit, mango farmers rightfully deserve technological advancement. Whether it be against the “kurikong” pest or in daily farming challenges, having an aid like the Yara FarmWeather app is essential for farming to be better by the day. Great then that the Yara FarmWeather app is now available in the country and is easily downloadable at Google Play Store. Be the first to verify that farming indeed got smarter with YaraFarmweather!