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DA says 15% of Cateel fields still flooded

Fifteen percent of rice fields in Cateel, Davao Oriental is still submerged in floodwaters, an official of the Philippine Rice Information System Management (PRISM) said.
Using drone technology, the technical staff of PRISM under the Department of Agriculture (DA) XI conducted a field validation in the municipality of Cateel, Davao Oriental on February 1.
Field validation is conducted after each disaster to monitor the affected areas and examine necessary interventions to address the damaged rice fields.
“It will greatly help the decision makers, farmers, AEWs (accident emergency warning systems) and project implementers to prepare for and mitigate the effect of recurring disasters. This technology will help us improve program implementation by carrying out appropriate interventions to the right beneficiaries,” DA XI alternate focal for PRISM, Engr. Arvin Aquino Bravo said.
Last January, at least three towns in Davao Oriental were hit by flashflood following overnight heavy downpour due to tropical depression “Amang.” These are Tarragona, Caraga, and Manay.
At the height of the tropical depression, 90% of rice fields were flooded.
“The farmers said the rains have not yet stopped,” Bravo said. “And they said even a little drizzle can cause the waters to rise.”
PRISM also detected damage in Davao del Sur due to the dry spell. Over 6,000 to 7,000 hectares of rice farms were affected by the phenomenon. The period of inadequate rainfall began since November 2018.
The DA XI planned on putting up water pumps in the affected areas. The occurrence of a tail-end cold front is also expected to ease the effect of dry spell in Davao del Sur.
Next week, PRISM will continue its field validation to resurvey the affected areas in Davao Region.

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