DA promotes planting of crops resistant to drought

Wenna Berondo (The Philippine Star) - December 20, 2012 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – In preparation for the possible long drought episode, the Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers in this province dubbed as the “rice capital of the Visayas,” to plant drought-resistant crop varieties.

Juvy Gaton, DA-6’s information officer, said farmers should plant crop varieties, particularly rice, that do not need much water and could resist long periods with no rain yet produce high yields.

Gaton said there are already available varieties of crops in the market that are drought-resistant. Farmers who are interested to grow this kind of crops may also avail of seeds from the DA, she said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier issued an advisory that El Niño episode has already commenced and would persist until the first quarter of 2013.

Initial areas that would experience below normal rainfall include portions of Central and Western Visayas, eastern portions of Northern and Central Luzon, including Palawan, and Western Mindanao, said PAGASA.

As early as August, the DA has already been issuing advisories and recommendations to the public through tri-media outlets on how to mitigate the adverse effects of El Niño phenomenon.

Earlier, DA 6 director Larry Nacionales also announced that the department has earmarked P2 million to mitigate the possible effects of El Niño phenomenon in the region.

The fund will be used for cloud seeding in the event the situation gets worse, he said, adding that the money has been allocated for Western Visayas and Cagayan Valley by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

The director further said earlier that the year 2013 will be a very crucial year because the national government is eyeing to achieve Food Staple Self-Sufficiency Program.

Region 6, he said, must have an additional 20,000 hectares of rice area to comply with its commitment. Also this wet season, the department is looking at prioritizing areas that produce higher yield and with sufficient water supply. —(FREEMAN)

BUREAU OF SOILS AND WATER MANAGEMENT CENTRAL AND WESTERN VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EL NI FOOD STAPLE SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION JUVY GATON LARRY NACIONALES NORTHERN AND CENTRAL LUZON PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC WESTERN MINDANAO
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