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PBBM bares govt’s 5-point priority agenda on soil and water management

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) –President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bared the government’s 5-point priority agenda on soil and water management during the 1st National Soil Health Summit, at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Among them, the President said, are the National Soil Health Program and the Implementation of Sustainable Land Management, to ensure the proper use and management of soil resources, address land degradation, enhance crop productivity, and improve farmers’ income.

The government shall also empower the Bureau of Soil and Water Management “to achieve these goals, especially through capacitating soil laboratories across the country to yield better data.”

“We are conducting a soil and land resources mapping and evaluation process that includes soil-based and land-based level assessments, soil sample analyses and digital map preparations under the Philippine Soil Land Resources Information program,” President Marcos said.

The government is also exploring Water Security for Climate Resilient Rainwater Technologies, and the conduct of Cloud Seeding Operations for Agriculture.

“All these to improve water conditions in production areas, in critical watersheds, and in our reservoirs. These are all part of the collective efforts to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon,” President Marcos said.

The President stressed the importance of soil health for the nation’s food security as the country is losing about 457 million tons of soil annually due to erosion.

He also noted that about 11 to 13 million hectares of land are degraded, and 2.2 million hectares suffer from poor soil fertility.

President Marcos said the government could not solve the issues affecting the country’s soil and the agriculture sector alone.

Thus, he called on the private sector and the academe to work with the government to address the soil health problem.

“This summit is an opportune time for all of us here to collaborate, to share our wisdom and experience to improve our soil and boost our agricultural productivity, all while promoting sustainability and environmental protection,” Pres. Marcos said.

Organized by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Waste Management (DA-BMW), in collaboration with the Department of Science & Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), House of Representatives, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Griffith University, the 1st National Soil Health Summit aim to provide various soil management strategies on improving soil health to boos agricultural productivity and farmers’ income. (pia-ncr)

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