La Union farmers shift to drought-resistant crops

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star
La Union farmers shift to drought-resistant crops
Map of San Fernando, La Union

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Farmers in La Union have shifted to drought-resistant crops to cushion the effects of the El Niño phenomenon in the agriculture sector.

Instead of rice, farmer Carlito Eslava of San Gabriel town is now planting corn and mung beans, which do not require much water to grow.

This developed after the provincial agriculture office advised farmers to look for alternative crops that can thrive in the extreme heat to avoid losses.

Sharon Viloria of the provincial agriculture office encouraged farmers to cultivate short-gestating crops like vegetables that could be harvested within a short period.

The provincial government is beefing up efforts to mitigate the impact of El Niño on farmers’ livelihood.

Viloria said registered local farmers and fishermen affected by El Niño could avail themselves of emergency loans that would be offered by the provincial government upon validation.

The emergency trust fund was created to help farmers cope with their losses from calamities like El Niño.

The provincial government procured vegetable seeds and farming tools to be distributed this month as additional assistance to farmers.

Gov. Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David assured the farming and fishery sector that the provincial government is ready to provide them assistance.

Aside from rice and vegetable farmers, tobacco planters are also reeling from the effects of El Niño.

The National Tobacco Administration said it has yet to assess the amount of damage incurred by the tobacco industry

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