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10,000 has. of production areas vulnerable to El Niño: CAgrO

By Lea Regina Dulay/UM Intern

THE CITY Agriculturist Office (CAgrO) mapped out the vulnerable farming areas to prepare them for the possible impacts of El Niño.

According to Edgardo A. Haspe, CAgrO officer-in-charge, over 10,000 hectares of land will be affected by the drought, including production areas in Barangay Suawan, Bantol, Buda, Tamugan, and Malamba in the Marilog District, Calinan, and Toril District. 

“We started the Information education campaign, informing, of course, the farmers, the fisherfolk and other sectors that will be affected by El Niño,” he said, adding that they also distributed fliers and leaflets that were given during the barangay caravan.

El Niño will not only affect crops such as rice, corn, and vegetables, but also fruit products such as mangoes will be affected in size. 

He said they assessed Irrigation facilities and farming equipment. Around 15 water pumps were checked, with 13 functioning and two scheduled for repair. Agri-engineers are now working on fixing the broken pumps, collecting the materials they will need, and managing the water supply to be utilized during El Niño.

Currently, they have 60 units of water pumps and 72 units of power sprayers ready to use. Over 270 rainwater catchment systems are now installed in the Marilog and Calinan Districts, which can store around 200 cubic meters each in a 15×20 container. Farmers may request these containers from the CAgrO office. 

However, Haspe noted that the catchment systems will not be enough as El Niño will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and last until the first quarter of 2024. In contrast, the collected water will only last for one to two months.

While he said they already have the budget for mitigation measures, they are proposing five more irrigation and farm equipment projects in Toril, Marilog, and Paquibato districts.

CAgrO assured farmers they are doing their best to prepare for the drought and plans to meet with the council to further minimize its impact.


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