El Nino affects tinawon production
by Vency D. Bulayungan
Lagawe, Ifugao (27 February) -- The local agriculture office here foresees a decrease in the production of the "tinawon" or Ifugao native rice due to lack of water.
Provincial Agriculturist Raymond Bahatan said not all upland farmers were able to plant the "tinawon palay" due to lack of water to irrigate the ricefields. "The farmers should have planted last December," he said.
Bahatan said that despite their appeal to the farmers to plant earlier due to the forecasted El Nino phenomenon, there were farmers who did not head to the call thus they prepared their seedbeds only last January.
According to Bahatan, there are some farmers in Banaue who are even calling on other farmers in other areas who have water to get the palay seedlings since they cannot plant due to lack of water.
The native rice "tinawon" can be harvested after seven months and it needs water for three to four months from the time it was planted before it can yield a good harvest.
Bahatan believes that it is better for the farmers not to plant palay anymore since it will die anyway due to the extreme heat and drought brought by El Nino. This is for real, the PAO said as he feels pity for the farmers.
Bahatan explained that the tinawon will not produce the same volume as it normally does since there is not enough supply of water. The creeks and the irrigation systems here are getting dried up.
The Agriculture office is now distributing calamity seeds such as carrots, mustard, beans and squash as a way of helping the farmers cope up with the impact of the long drought. We are also advising the Local Government Units to monitor the impact of the dry spell so that if needed then they will declare their area as a calamity area, Bahatan said. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]