Dry spell hits Cagayan Valley
by Ben Moses Ebreo
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (February 10) -- The dry spell has already affected several areas in Cagayan Valley region, according to officials of the Department of Agriculture(DA).
In a report to agriculture secretary Arthur Yap, Regional Executive Director Dr. Andrew B. Villacorta, DA regional field unit for Cagayan Valley region said around 230,560 hectares of rice and 202,471 hectares of corn are already affected.
He added that they have already requested cloud seeding operations through the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).
BSWM is tthe lead agency of the agriculture department mandated to conduct cloud seeding based on the issued Executive Order 116.
DA report said Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada. BSWM Director, requested one Philippine Air Force(PAF) Cessna 210 plane to conduct sorties in the entire region affected by the El Niņo phenomenon.
The said aircraft is based in Cauayan Airport, Isabela province and was able to complete 10 sorties as of February 3, 2010.
The PAF plane was also dispatched to salvage a large number of areas affected in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya grid including the watershed areas of Magat Dam Reservoir in Ramon town in Isabela.
The BSWM is also preparing for the deployment of a bigger plane that could dispense 500 kilos of salt per sortie to induce rains in the region.
Early this week, the town of Cabatuan in Isabela province has been declared under state of calamity due to the adverse effect of the dry spell among farmers in the municipality. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]