DA prepares measures for El Niņo
Negros Occidental (17 February) -- The Department of Agriculture has started crafting measures and these are being positioned through the department's regional field units to mitigate the adverse impact of El Niņo.
With El Niņo to last until July of this year as forecasted by PAG-ASA, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the El Niņo task force is considering an emergency food assistance program for the benefit of one million rural families now reeling from an El Niņo onslaught.
These drought-stricken provinces pinpointed by PAGASA are Benguet, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Batangas, Iloilo, Antique, Guimaras, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino according to PAGASA per El Nino Advisory No. 6.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said that the task force is also studying such mitigation programs as livelihood projects and farm input subsidies for farmers who can no longer plant at this point as a result of the prolonged dry spell.
Other various measures are also in place like the cloud seeding operations for as long as there are seedable cloud formations, water delivery to irrigation systems and deploying mobile animal diagnostic laboratories to mitigate the impact of the El Niņo dry spell on the farm sector.
Department of Agriculture Regional Director Larry Nacionales has requested from the DA national office a P190-million budget to fund for the irrigation of the plantations in Western Visayas particularly Negros Occidental, Capiz and Iloilo which are now experiencing the effects of the dry spell. (PIA/EAD) [top]