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Legarda is a proponent of regenerative agricultural systems

MANILA – Senator Loren Legarda, who has served four terms in the Senate, has encouraged the country, particularly government institutions, to seriously consider the moral need to overhaul the current food system.

“In an interconnected globe, we are once again confronted with the terrible consequences of the Ukraine conflict. Food shortages are being caused by rising food and energy prices. “The battle will have far-reaching implications and generate long-term issues, particularly in terms of food security, health, and even the environment,” Legarda said in a statement on Thursday.

“The battle in Ukraine should serve as a wake-up call for regenerative agriculture systems in our world’s failing food systems,” she continued.

To enable Filipinos to have a sustainable, resilient, and regenerative food system, Legarda emphasized the significance of providing critical support for agriculture and fisheries, particularly for small farmers.

“Ipinakita ng Covid-19 pandemic at ng krisis sa Ukraine kung gaano ka-vulnerable ang ating mga food supply chain, at kung paano sa isang iglap ay maaaring malagay sa alanganin ang food at nutritional safety ng milyun-milyon nating mga kababayan (Ipinakita

“Kung susuportahan natin ang ating mga magsasaka at mga mangingisda, magkakaroon tayo ng matibay na pundasyon at solusyon para sa ating problema sa food security at sustensyon ng ating mga food sources,” she said.

Legarda, a backyard farmer, is a co-author of RA 10068, which establishes the National Organic Agricultural Program, and RA 11511, which recognizes Participatory Guarantee Systems as a valid and economical approach to certifying organic goods.

She was also a co-author of the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act, which mandates that banks devote 25% of their loanable money to the agriculture sector, as well as the Rural Farm Schools Act, which establishes Rural Farm Schools.

Legarda is also a co-author of House Bill 8385, also known as the Integrated Urban Agriculture Act of 2020, which aims to encourage and institutionalize urban agriculture by utilizing vacant property and tiny places to plant and grow food in the neighborhood.

Legarda initiated the allocation of more funds for agricultural programs in the province, including the National Rice Program, the National Livestock Program, the National Corn Program, and the High Value Crops Development Program, as well as funding support for institutions such as the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, the National Dairy Authority, and the Philippine Carabao Center, among others, as Representative of the Lone District of Antique at the time.

According to her, the world is already seeing the effects of the Ukraine crisis on prices and food availability. The World Food Program confirms this, noting that more than 3 million people in Ukraine are currently getting food assistance. Fertilizers are more expensive when energy expenses are high.

“Higher fertilizer prices indicate less fertilizer use by small farmers, resulting in a smaller yield and, as a result, a lower income. “They also have to deal with the climate emergency,” she added. “This is again another evidence of the need to move to regenerative food systems that return power to farmers and produce with locally available and renewable resources.”

Every day, 1,717 metric tons of food are wasted, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology. According to the International Rice Research Institute, PHP23 million worth of rice is thrown away every day. This much is sufficient to feed 4.3 million people.

“Despite the fact that our people are starving and malnourished, we waste 1,717 metric tons of food.” Consider what would happen if every Filipino cut down on food waste. “This will effectively increase food availability and aid in the alleviation of hunger while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions connected with food that is not consumed,” Legarda explained.

“I am urging our national institutions, as well as my fellow Filipinos, to seriously consider the moral obligation of changing the current food system. Let us achieve food security by bolstering agricultural and fishery support, as well as promoting regenerative agricultural systems,” she added.

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