Marcos seeks more focus on research to fight climate change impacts on agri productivity

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Concerned over the effects of climate change on agriculture productivity. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is now eyeing to focus government spending on research to make the sector more resilient to extreme weather.

During the Panel Session on Moving Towards Nutrition Security at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, the President disclosed the measure is part of the government initiative to further improve the country’s food and nutrition security.

Under the 2021 Global Food Security Index, he said the Philippines was ranked at a modest 64th out of 113 countries in four dimensions of food security.

“Government spending will focus on productivity-enhancing interventions for the agricultural sector, research and development is going to be a very important component for this as…with the advent, as it has been mentioned, with the advent of the climate change issues, the impact on climate change has to be part of that discussion,” Marcos said.

For this year, the government allocated 9 percent of the national budget for conservation, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction initiatives.

The President reiterated he wants to increase the said budget allocation to 15 percent annually.

“The Philippines recognizes the importance of mitigating the impact of climate change on economic growth and resilience,” the President said during the High-Level Dialogue-Investing in Infrastructure for Resilience at the 2023 WEF.

“To this end, it is our top priority to design and build climate-resilient infrastructure, programs, and projects,” he added.

Such investments, the President said, is also expected to help boost the economy.

Other measures to be adopted by the government to ensure the nutritional needs of the country’s population will be met, Marcos said, will be the promotion of non-conventional forms of agriculture such as urban and vertical farming, and community gardening for subsistence supply.

The President said they would also look into technologies that increase the nutritional value and prolong the shelf life of food and promote values related to green and circular economy.

“We are looking to work with the WEF and various stakeholders on a holistic and integrated plan covering both food security and nutrition security,” Marcos said.