High value crop growers benefit from El Nino, reports DA
By Christy Carole B. Sanico and Jeaniffer Mae Ang
Tagum City (1 May) -- The Department of Agriculture claimed that not all effects of El Nino are destructive. It has even benefited high value commercial crops growers in the province.
Engr. Leonilo D. Patayon, supervising agriculturist of the Provincial Agriculturist's Office stated that the dry-spell has produced good quality and high yield to high value fruit crops such as tambis, mangosteen, mangoes and durian."
Patayon imparted that mangoes now have good quality unlike in rainy season when mango produce are severely affected by fungus infestation.
He said that El Nino helps in the early flowering of durian fruit. He added that May is the usual month for harvesting durian.
This year, however, farmers were able to harvest their crops as early as January, Patayon said.
Moreover, Patayon disclosed that "there is lower incidence of Sigatoka in banana plantations due to lower atmospheric moisture."
However, he said the eluding risk of the dry spell is that the leaf emergence in corn was slower due to moisture that slowed down the uptake of soil nutrients and poor germination in corn for those planted between the 4th week of January to 2nd week of February 2010.
Patayon stressed that a total area of 2,000 hectares of corn production in Davao del Norte are affected by El nino. But he assured that the rice production is not affected.
According to PAGRO, in order to aid the continuous emergence of El Nino in the province, there's a need to rehabilitate the corn production area by providing subsidized corn seeds to farmers.
Another recommendation is to involve the private sectors in cloud seeding operations in the province in coordination with DA.
The farmers are also advised to plant early maturing but high yielding inbred rice varieties and to strictly observe synchronized farming.
Patayon has reported these updates of El Niņo during the joint 265th quarterly conference of the Regional and Davao del Norte Disaster Coordinating Council held on Thursday at the Davao Norte's Provincial Government Center. (PIA-XI) [top]