Drought hits 645 hectares of farmlands in Ilocos Norte

By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1, Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – Some 645 hectares farmlands in the southern and eastern towns of Ilocos Norte have dried up due to drought, according to the report from the Provincial Agriculture Office.

Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the prolonged drought had caused fruit-bearing trees and vegetable crops to dry up.

She said the provincial government considered measures to aid farmers to recover from their crops’ losses due to the dry spell.

The agriculture office is presently validating reports from the different towns in the province to identify the affected areas whether totally affected or partially affected.

To ease the farmers from the effect of drought, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) is initially providing water pumps.

The agriculture office is presently conducting massive information dissemination to farmers regarding water saving technologies and management like the adoption of mulching technology using indigenous materials such as dried leaves or any applicable farm waste on top of a soil to preserve its moisture.

Lagmay said the farmers were advised not to burn farm wastes but instead convert them into organic fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that weak El Niño still exists and might last until the end of the year.#