This was the key findings of the project, “Alternative crop shelter design for the production of high value crops in the highlands,” funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOSTPCAARRD). Malamug’s research was driven by the need to reduce the negative effect of climate change on crop production. Occurrences of extreme weather events such as torrential rains, drought periods, and abnormally high and low temperatures affect crop production patterns, resulting in irregular production levels.
Benguet is one of the provinces in the country vulnerable to negative effects of climate change. In his project report, Malamug said that cool season crops such as lettuce, broccoli, and strawberry grow best under full sun or direct unfiltered sunlight for at least six hours a day. However, intense heat generally reduces their yields. Temperature stress results in early flowering in lettuce and broccoli and smaller fruits in strawberry.
To minimize climate-induced stresses, protected crop cultivation has been recognized as one of the best adaptation measures. This method uses crop shelters and greenhouses in crop production. In lieu of expensive complicated designs, farmers in the highlands use the most common structure made of bamboo or wooden frames and covered with plastic sheets for protection. This is cheaper but it gets easily damaged during typ