THE OFFICE of the Provincial Agriculturist of Davao del Sur (OPAG) is intensifying programs and services together with its partner agencies to aid local farmers during the El Niño season.
Engr. Jovita Bretaña, OPAG Operations OIC, said they collaborated with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), municipal/local government units (LGUs), and the province of Davao del Sur.
“Sa pagkakaron, gi-intensify namo ang usa sa atong campaign sa technology, kini ganing Alternate Wet and Dry Technology sa rice planting, para dili kaayo mausik ang atoang tubig when to comes to rice production kay kung dili nato i-minimize ang usage sa tubig (irrigation water), ang atoang tubig basin makulang pag abot sa El Niño, gamay nalang ang supply sa atong irrigation dams (For now, we intensified one of our campaign in technology, it’s known as Alternate Wet and Dry Technology for rice planting so that our irrigation waters will not be wasted when it comes to rice production if we are not going to minimize it, there’s a possibility that we will not have enough water as a supply for our irrigation dams during the strike of El Niño),” Bretaña said.
Bretaña also urged local farmers to enroll in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to provide farmer’s insurance protection to the country’s agriculture against crop loss due to natural calamities.
She also said the office advised the farmers’ cooperatives and association of Davao del Sur to check the machinery and other agricultural equipment beforehand, such as water pumps, to determine operational problems, if there are any.
“I-check na dapat nila tung machineries na naa na sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka association or cooperatives (They should be doing advance checking of the machineries that are inside their associations or cooperatives). Basig pag-abot sa gamiton na siya, dili na siya magamit kay naa’y diperensya, so i-check na siya, together with our NIA technicians (There might be a possibility that from the time we use it, it’s not operational anymore because there’s something wrong with it already, so we need to check it, with the help of our NIA technicians). Ilaha nang i-test run para if ever naa na ang ang El Niño, pwede na siya magamit anytime sa atoang mag-uuma (They are going to conduct a test-run, so that if El Niño arrives, our farmers will be able to utilize it),” Bretaña added.
Bretaña said if there will be a time that at least three municipalities in the province declare a ‘state of calamity’ because of El Niño, the province will provide measures such as fuel subsidies and various seeds for the agriculture’s recovery phase.
Despite the forecasted “weak” El Niño, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) stated that El Niño is now “present” in the tropical Pacific Region, “showing signs of strengthening” in the coming months.
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