DA to farmers: Brace for El Niño

By: Miriam P. Aquino, PIA 1, La Union


SAN FERNANDO CITY June 24 (PIA) – An official of the Department of Agriculture has advised farmers to plant early amidst the threat of dry spell that will affect Luzon provinces beginning September.

Ning Peralta, DA’s media production specialist, said weather experts have predicted the El Nino phenomenon to hit Luzon provinces starting September this year until July 2015.

“To mitigate the possible effects of El Nino, farmers should decide whether to plant their palay from June to August if they want to make sure of a higher percentage of survival,” she said.

Peralta also advised farmers to plant early maturing variety of palay which can be harvested in three months or before the dry spell is at its peak.

The DA has already set in place programs which will address the weather phenomenon in various stages.

Part of their preparations include an information campaign billed “Oras ti Mannalon” (Farmers’ Hour) aired over five radio stations in Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte; distribution of IEC materials, including a primer in Ilokano.

The department has also begun a survey of vulnerable areas, provided seeds, conducted cloud-seeding, vaccinated poultry and livestock and distributed disinfectants.

Peralta said they will activate their regional-provincial command action centers to monitor affected areas during the dry spell.

After El Nino period, the DA is expected to validate affected areas to help them recover, Peralta added. #