Cloud seeding is good but, where is the rain?
Ric V. Obedencio (The Freeman) - January 21, 2016 - 9:00am

CARMEN, BOHOL, Philippines — The much publicized P2-million cloud-seeding project just took off last week, following months of postponement, but many farmers claimed there was no rain coming, and their rice paddies have dried up.

The farmers, especially from Barangay Bicao of this town, said they heard about the cloud seeding and were happy to expect that finally their farms will have water from the rain, but there was none to this day.

At Barangay Malitbog in Dagohoy town said some paddies have dried up and the rice seedlings they planted have been dying. A farmer there told The Freeman they were still hoping that rain will come eventually to save their rice plantation.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist however said, in a news report, that agricultural and watersheds “have been experiencing rains” after the cloud seeding operations conducted last week.

The cloud seeding operations also benefited the farms in Tagbilaran City and neighboring towns, said the OPA, adding that cloud seeding was launched to save rice farms from drying up.

The Bohol Integrated Irrigation System, headed by William Butron of the National Irrigation Administration-Region 7, earlier said the irrigation service areas have been reduced due to the continuing El Niño.

Butron said NIA had implemented cloud seeding in response to the El Niño advisory at the onset of the planting season. The BIIS, he said, has been monitoring the national irrigation facilities, and sporadic raining had augmented the water supply in the big dams.

He however admitted that the irrigation service areas of the big dams—Malinao in Pilar town, Bayongan in San Miguel, Capayas in Ubay, and one in Talibon—have been reduced in size, as water could no longer reach the tail-end of the irrigation canals.

This situation had prompted BIIS to suggest to the farmers to diversify by planting heat-resistant crops, with shorter growth period than usual, because water in these dams were just enough for planting at this time.

Bohol, along with Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Southern Leyte provinces, are now affected by dry spell and drought due to El Niño, which PAGASA said would last until next year.

PAGASA had defined dry spell as “three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall condition,” while drought is “three consecutive months of way-below normal rainfall condition.”

Dry spell had already adversely affected the seaweeds production in Bien-Unido town, particularly at the island-barangay of Hingotanan where farmers are now worried that they would not earn enough now. (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC AT BARANGAY MALITBOG ATILDE BARANGAY BICAO BOHOL INTEGRATED IRRIGATION SYSTEM EL NI NEGROS ORIENTAL OFFICE OF THE PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURIST SAN MIGUEL SIQUIJOR AND SOUTHERN LEYTE TAGBILARAN CITY
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