Developing economies must enhance the resilience of their agricultural sectors to withstand the impacts of climate shocks and implement climate change interventions that strike a balance between mitigation efforts and agricultural production.
During the 2023 Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy Roundtable on “Enabling Measures to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Toward Resilient Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan delivered a keynote speech emphasizing the importance of weighing other important socioeconomic objectives even as an economy pursues the goal of mitigating GHG emissions for the promotion of sustainable rural development.
“Given the complexity and context-specific nature of the trade-offs and synergies between climate change mitigation and agricultural production, we must consider food security, rural livelihoods, and economic development in identifying and implementing mitigation strategies,” Balisacan said.
The NEDA chief contextualized the reluctance to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector, which involves substantial investments and a trade-off with pressing development priorities such as agricultural production.
Nevertheless, Balisacan maintains a positive outlook and provides examples of possible synergies between mitigation measures and interventions that raise agricultural productivity.
These include crop rotation, intercropping, alternate wetting and drying, and precision agriculture. These practices have the potential to reduce emissions while simultaneously enhancing soil health, crop yields, and profitability.
“Continuously integrating climate risks and sustainability in crafting and implementing agricultural productivity measures is necessary to strengthen the sector’s resilience and profitability. This process would entail the regular conduct and integration of climate risk and vulnerability assessments in sectoral plans for agriculture,” he said.
Referring to the strategies identified in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, , Balisacan articulated the Philippines’ commitment to allocate resources towards the adoption of profitable, climate-smart, and resilient technologies.
“To realize these strategies, the Philippines seeks to prioritize investment in research, development, and extension of climate-smart and resilient technologies, including nature-based solutions. The country also aims to improve the marketability and profitability of low-carbon technologies and products by facilitating linkages and collaboration among innovators, entrepreneurs, and industries,” he said.
The 2023 APAP Roundtable was co-organized by NEDA and the Global Agricultural Policy Institute.
It was attended virtually and in person by a diverse group of experts in the fields of economics, climate change, and agricultural and rural development, who convened to discuss the multifaceted impacts of climate change on food security, existing and emerging investments, and initiatives aimed at mitigating emissions in the agriculture sector.
Catherine R. Cueto