Families in Mindanao have seen significant benefits, monetarily and otherwise, from FAO’s Anticipatory Action support. ©FAO/ Mark Navales

The Philippines | Anticipating crises to support farming communities


Michelle Sandigan Mohammad knows a thing or two about drought. On the island of Mindanao in the Philippines where she tends to her farm, drought has been a frequent foe. Whenever El Niño dry spells occurred in the past, she would lose her crops and income – losses that made it that much harder to cope with the next drought.

“The impact on our income is huge,” Michelle admits. For farmers, losing crops and subsequent sales means they have to take on debt to buy seeds and other necessities to plant for the next season. This begins a vicious cycle from which it can be hard to recover. School fees and family essentials become unaffordable and diets can suffer. 

In these scenarios, acting early – before the drought sets in – ensures that farmers come out of a crisis with their livelihoods and food security intact. Anticipatory actions not only protect possessions and sources of income but also make farmers’ livelihoods more robust and resilient.

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