The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and the Inanglupa Movement will cooperate in enacting policy changes in the Philippines that will help protect the country’s precious soil and water resources with the aim of improving sustainable agriculture production.

BSWM Director Dr. Silvino Tejada Jr. and Inang Lupa Dr. William Dar signed a memorandum of agreement for the two entities that also stipulates, among others, the conduct of soil mapping activities for small farmers.

“The agreement between BSWM and Inang Lupa will have a high impact in making farming more sustainable in the Philippines, and preserving the country’s precious water and soil resources,” said Dr. William Dar, President Inanglupa Movement.

The head of Inanglupa, Dr. William Dar, brings to the Philippines a wealth of knowledge in soil and water conservation because he headed the ICRISAT for a number of terms. ICRISAT is the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics.

The agreement was signed in time for the observation of International Year of Soils (IYS) this year.

Under the agreement, the BWSM shall: implement the Yamang Lupa Program activities on soil health mapping and development of soil health cards; spearhead the preparation and coordination of meetings, seminars and workshops on the preparation of policy papers relevant to soil and water resources conservation and management; and coordinate with Inanglupa regarding the conduct of activities for the IYS celebration, particularly on the proposed international symposium on soils and food and nutrition security.

Under the Yamang Lupa Program, ICRISAT along with agencies under the Department of Agriculture like the BSWM and Bureau of Agricultural Research will impart knowledge on farming that uses water and soil resources more efficiently.

For its part, Inanglupa shall: provide technical assistance on the implementation of the Yamang Lupa Program expansion to include soil health mapping and upgrading of national and regional Soils Laboratory; and assist BSWM in advocating policies and bills in Congress that are relevant to national land use policy, land use conversion, soil and water resources conservation and management and sustainable land management.

“Policy makers must be made aware of the need to preserve the country’s water and soil resources, and this cooperation between BSWM and Inanglupa is a step in that direction,” Dir. Tejada ended. (Veronica Hernandez)