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    Posted March 28, 2014 by

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    Food security in Philippines pushed

    Maximizing agricultural productivity is the only option for the country's food security through the promotion of soil and water conservation technologies and approaches for sustainable land management, a Philippine lawmaker said Friday.
    Rep. Sharon Garin stressed in House Bill 2000 that "water and soil are nature's wealth that must be protected for our future's sake."
    Garin lauded the approval of her proposed "Soil and Water Conservation Act of 2013", contained in HB 2000, by the Committee on Agriculture and Food and, recently by the Committee on Appropriations.
    Once a Committee Report is finalized by the Committee on Agriculture, the primary referral panel, it will be forwarded to the Committee on Rules for scheduling and endorsement to plenary, come opening of the second regular session of Congress in May.
    Garin recalled that the original HB 6681 was approved by the House last February 2013 during the wee hours of the 15th Congress and endorsed to the Senate two days later, but time was not on its side.
    "This refiled bill aims to promote soil and water conservation technologies and practices through the National Soil and Water Conservation Program, with local government units and marginalized farmers in rain-fed uplands as primary target sectors," Garin explained.
    Under the program, environment-friendly rainwater harvesting structures will be constructed in the middle and upper reaches of the uplands and watershed with predominantly rolling to hilly topography, she said.
    The lawmaker said the depressions and small inland valleys in these areas can be harnessed for small water reservoir development which would then be utilized by poor upland farming communities for agricultural production.
    "The proposed program will also include watershed protection, development and management as major components," Garin stressed.
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