Policy Options for Rice and Corn Farmers in the Face of Seasonal Climate Variability
This paper discusses the Phillippine government's risk management programs for smallholder farmers.
In order to address the vulnerability of small farmers in rural areas, the Philippine government has implemented risk management programs for farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. The study surveyed rice and corn farmers in key producing areas. It found that farmers still had limited options in terms of changing their production decisions in response to seasonal climate forecasts. Among the risk mitigation tools available, farmers preferred localized climate information, accessible credit, crop insurance, and special assistance programs such as irrigation and seeds provision.
The paper makes recommendations to enhance the delivery of risk management programs and improve productivity and welfare in target farming communities in the country. They include:
- Providing localized seasonal climate forecast and information to farmers and other stakeholders;
- Making the rural credit market more attractive to formal lenders and increasing capacity of formal institutions to operate cost-effectively;
- Exploring emerging innovations like index-based and market-based insurance products;
- Providing support in terms of irrigation and establishment of small-scale irrigation systems as well as diversification into more high value crops.