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PIA Press Release

Cagayan Valley agri office conducts planning workshop vs El Nino phenomenon

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (February 17) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Cagayan Valley is in the process of identifying critical areas affected by the dry spell that would require immediate government assistance.

"Right now, we are also in the process of identifying alternatve crops for farmers to address the affected areas," said Celerina Miranda, DA Field Officer for Nueva Vizcaya.

She said the identification of drought affected areas in the region is now being threshed out on the on-going regional planning workshop from February 17 to 18 in Tuguegarao City attended by local agriculture office of local government units, members of El Nino Task Forces in the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Batanes, National Food Authority (NFA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and representatives of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management(BSWM).

This developed as the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan have been declared under state of calamity due to huge agricultural loses brought by the El Nino phenomenon.

Miranda said one of the objectives of the regional planning workshop is to identify and pour in available resources by local government units and the national government.

She added that the DA has collaborated with private organizations and other government agencies on the conduct of periodic cloud seeding operations in Cagayan Valley.

"Technical personnel from the BSWM are now assigned in various domestic airports in the region on a daily basis to conduct regular cloud seeding operations," Miranda added.

The cloud seeding operations, she said targets at least 50 watersheds in Cagayan Valley inorder to augment water requirements of reservoirs and agriculture areas.

According to Miranda, they have completed 9 cloud seeding sorties since February 13 which required 750 bags of salt to induce rains on targeted areas utilizing the Bagabag airport in Bagabag town in Nueva Vizcaya, Cauayan City airport in Isabela province and in Cagayan province.

"Our cloud seeding team is regularly spotting seedable clouds before embarking on a 1-hour cloud seeding operations at 10 bags per flight," she said.

N Aboitiz Power(SNAP) Magat, Inc., according to Miranda has contracted Chemtrad, an airplane company in the region for the conduct of periodic cloud seeding activities while the agriculture department provided bags of salt.

SNAP Magat owns and operates the 360 megawatt Magat hydroelectric power plant bordering the towns of Ramon, Isabela and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. The company is a joint venture of Aboitiz Group and SN Power of Norway, which took over government operations in 2007. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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