21 March 2022 (San Clemente, Tarlac) – The farmers are one of the first to feel the impact of climate change because of the changing of weather patterns which make it more difficult for them to plant their crops efficiently. Not to mention that flooding and drought greatly affect their livelihood.
With the emerging effects of climate change, Good Neighbors International Philippines and the Municipality of San Clemente, Tarlac has worked towards building resilient communities through climate change adaptation and mitigation, especially for the farmers.
On March 16-17, 2022, blessings and turnover ceremonies were held and participated by some farmer-beneficiaries of the project. GNIP formally turned over various technologies that will help in climate change mitigation, including the one unit of Automated Weather System (AWS) complemented with Smart Television installed in 12 villages, Public Address System for four villages, four units of farming shredder, one unit of Information Kiosk for the municipal government, and a Tissue Culture Laboratory.
The AWS has the capacity to provide real-time weather information that is very important for farmers and to the general public such as temperature, humidity, dew point, wind speed and direction, cloud coverage, wind chill and heat index, barometric pressure, rainfall, and rain rate; among others. It also has the capability to make an hourly; as well as a 7-day forecast. It can also be accessed through their mobile phones using the Weatherlink application.
Significantly, different interventions were provided to the farmers and the community, such as the organization of Farmer Fields Schools (FFS); capacity building training for the farmers on Climate Change Information, Seed Banking, participatory plant breeding, and tissue culture or mushroom production.
These training significantly provided them with a better understanding of the rice varieties that are climate change resilient, flood resilient, drought-resilient, and disease and pest resilient which will help for mitigating climate change.
This special project of GNIP benefitted a total of 85 farmers and 12 villages in San Clemente. This has brought climate knowledge into more localized decision-making by improving availability, access, and use for the farmers and the community.
“More than 1,700 municipalities in the Philippines, and yet we are one of those who were given the chance that an NGO will invest in us through climate change adaptation. And we are so very happy with that. With the technology that we have and the different technology that the Good Neighbors has provided us, ang laking tulong,” Engr. Ariel Cristobal, Municipal Planning and Development Head.
During the turnover, the head of the farmer association, Michael Butchal, expressed his appreciation and thanks to Good Neighbors, as the technology will help them be updated on when they should start farming.
“It gives us an idea on how we are going to plan our planting systems. How are we going to deal with our crops through this AWS. So this is a big help for all of us to plan out. Pati ang magsasaka siya ang number 1 na nagpaplano kasi siya ang nagsasabi when to plant. Kayo ang nagbigay ng pirmi na ‘I will plant on this day’. And that’s the reason why we are so very thankful for this kind of technology from Good Neighbors,” Engr. Cristobal added.
Moreover, GNIP Country Director, Mr. Jae Choon Lee, said that he “wants to introduce this program to our neighbors in the Philippines as we are also prone to climate change.” He has seen the potential of our farmers through the work they have done in this project.