Battle-ready for El Niño

March 08, 2019
El Niño - Soil

CLOUD seeding operations in Region 12 are now being readied to avert the possible impact of the anticipated El Niño phenomenon on agricultural crops in the region.

DA XII Regional Executive Director Milagros Casis disclosed that the agency already allocated the amount of P2.5 million for the intervention.

“We are just processing some more documents in order for us to kick start the cloud seeding operations together with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management,” Casis said.

She added that the operations are expected to start by the end of this month with a total of 40 sorties or rounds of cloud seeding to be conducted in the region.

“This intervention is part of our preparation and mitigation activities in line with the anticipated El Niño phenomenon,” she said.

Recently, the Philippine, Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) released an advisory which indicated a weak El Niño and below normal rainfall in the coming months.

Casis stressed that they will no longer wait for the new advisory of PAGASA, and this early the DA XII is already working on interventions for the farmers.

Meanwhile, Ray Embajador, Field Operations Division Officer-in-Charge, said that 9,000 bags of palay seeds from the DA’s Quick Response Fund are ready for distribution to areas for rehabilitation in case of calamity.

He added that the seeds will only be released to areas validated by the agency for rehabilitation.

“Although there were already municipalities which declared state of calamity in the region, we will still subject the areas for validation,” Embajador stessed.

Meanwhile, he advised farmers to prudently select rice varieties or plant legumes and root crops such as cassava, camote, and even watermelon since these are drought-resilient crops.

The DA XII also reminded local agriculture offices to conduct continuous monitoring of possible occurrences of diseases and pest outbreaks since they are prevalent among priority crops such as rice and corn.