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PIA Press Release
2010/02/18

Farmers urged to brace for El Nino

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (18 February) -- With the long dry spell this year, the Department of Agriculture urged farmers to be prepared for the worst as some 14 provinces have been adversely affected by the El Niņo phenomenon.

Although Samar province is considered to be moderately affected, Pag-asa warns the farmers that El Niņo is a real occurrence and that serious mitigation measures must be implemented.

In Zamboanga Peninsula Region (1X) Agriculture Regional Technical Director Constancio Alama, from last Monday's (Feb. 8) office updates and reporting, briefed the personnel and staff of the regional field unit when to expect El Niņo to take place.

For the two feared phenomena (El Nino and La Nina) Alama disclosed that there are 16 rice varieties under screening identified as drought resistant and tolerant to submergence with optimum yield.

"Other option, we will advice to farmer to shift crops, we will recommend after-rice crops like legumes (mongo, peanuts) water melon," he said.

Regional banner coordinator for High Value Commercial Crops (HVCC) Marcial Fantone also recommends vegetable farmers to plant short-termed green leafy vegetables in case of drought.

"Never plant annual term vegetables because we do not know if drought would extend for more months," he informed.

"But if they want to plant on a large scale, they can, just be sure to plant along the river banks or provide your own water pumps," he suggested.

"Other option, we will advice to farmer to shift crops, we recommend after-rice crops like legumes (mongo, peanuts) water melon," he said. (PIA-Samar/Remai S. Alejado/da9) [top]

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