By: Venus L. Garcia
BUTUAN CITY — With the reduced amount of rainfall over most areas in Caraga region, adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon are now gradually felt by Caraganons.
Daryl Luminarias, a farm administrator from barangay Mahay in this city, is worried about how this climate pattern could cause damage to more than twenty hectares of land that his family cultivated for rice and crop production.
According to him, there is a certain decline in their rice harvest due to insufficient supply of water.
Luminarias is calling for help from the government, particularly to the National Irrigation Administration or NIA Caraga, for the installation of an irrigation system in their vicinity.
“I hope the NIA could help the farmers here in our locality because the government’s irrigation project has not yet reached in our farms at present,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government agencies concerned have already taken measures and set preparations that they would have to implement to counter the adverse effects of El Niño especially to the farmers.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has initially warned of drought and dry spell conditions in four Caraga provinces from march to may as normal rainfall level is expected to reduce by 60 percent.
Melody Guimary, agricultural center chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga, said the agency is ready address the concern of farmers who will be affected by the El Niño.
He said, their agricultural program coordinating offices are also currently verifying the reports about the droughts and dry spell being experienced in several locations in the region.
“We are always preparing ‘agrivisory’ that is to inform the local government units (LGUs) and also the farmers relative to the impact of El Niño. For this year, we are preparing about P58 million as our budget for calamities, and that includes our interventions for unfavorable results of El Nino,” said Guimary.
According to Surigao del Sur provincial agriculturist Marcos Quico, that though there is no direct effect yet of El Niño in their province, they are bracing themselves and have carried out preparations.
Ruth Maisog, assistant city agriculturist of Butuan City, also said that with the help of DA-Caraga, a water pump and engine set were provided to the Sto. Niño farmers association in barangay Banza after they sought assistance to save their rice fields.
The official also advised farmers to prepare beforehand the needed documents to avoid delay in the processing of specific assistance by the government for their sector. (PIA-Caraga)