Agroecology Helps Farmers Cushion Climate Impact

MANILA, Philippines — For years, volunteers of a social agricultural enterprise have witnessed farmers spend months toiling the field only for extreme rain to wash away their crops in an instant, leaving them with nothing to harvest and, often, nothing to eat.

Such is the cruel irony afflicting many smallholder farmers who bring food to Filipino tables yet “are the ones experiencing hunger,” said Mabi David, a member of Good Food Community (GFC), who has seen the struggle of Mountain Province growers against nonstop downpours that spoil crops or cause plant disease.

Weather changes, too, affect the quantity and quality of produce, shrinking the size of fruit and vegetables or giving them bad coloration. In GFC’s experience, harmful insect populations also tend to multiply as the skies become more unpredictable.

These show how drastic weather events attributed to climate change are threatening not only farmers’ yield but their own household food and nutrition security, David said.