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Policy Options for Rice and Corn Farmers in the Face of Seasonal Climate Variability

Publication date:
C. Reyes
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In the face of seasonal climate variability, the smallholder farmers, particularly those in rural communities, are among the most adversely affected. As a way to address this, together with concern on low productivity, the Philippine government has been implementing a range of risk management programs for farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. Based on key informant surveys and focus group discussions conducted in key producing areas in the country, rice and corn farmers reported that they still have limited options in terms of changing their production decisions in response to seasonal climate forecasts. Among the risk mitigation tools available, the following emerged as most preferred by farmers: localized climate information; accessible credit; crop insurance; and special assistance programs such as irrigation and seeds provision. This paper tackles these programs in detail and discusses the challenges besetting these programs. The paper also presents some policy options which could enhance the delivery of these agricultural services in pursuit of improved productivity and welfare in target farming communities in the country.