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Prolonged dry spell to affect food production in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) -- The Cagayan Valley El Niño Team bared its mitigation and response efforts on the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon on food security, water resources, health, and economy in the region.

In a forum conducted by the Philippine Information Agency, Ranchel Parcon of PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) said El Niño is expected to persist until May. 

She said, based on forecasts, Region 2 may experience way below normal rainfall conditions, below normal in April, and near normal in May. 

The Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management conduct cloud seeding in some parts of Region 2, in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of AFP Radio DWDD)

Kay Olivas of the Department of Agriculture said the prolonged dry spell will affect the food production of the region, especially rice, corn, and vegetables. 

“We have already laid our mitigation measures to ensure enough production in the region. Based on our assessment, we have a high sufficiency level for rice, corn, and vegetables. This means we are food secured in our region but what we are looking into is the supply that we usually export to other regions that are dependent on our productions,” Olivas said. 

With this, the agriculture department is set to give seed subsidies, fertilizers, soil ameliorants, crop insurance, and water pumps and engines to the severely affected farmers. 

Olivas also said they have started conducting cloud seeding in some parts of the region that are now experiencing drought. 

Melvin Iringan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also said there are water conservation efforts that they are now conducting with the help of other agencies concerned with water security. 

He also said they assist local government units in establishing water reservoirs and diversion of river water to irrigation canals to ensure enough water supply for agricultural plants. 

“We are also conducting inventories of water resources and users in the region,” Iringan said. 

On the part of the Department of Health, Richelle Naceno of the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development said they have already prepositioned health emergency commodities to local government units ready to be used in case a disease outbreak caused by severe heat temperature and drought occurs. 

SFO4 Moises Tupiño of the Bureau of Fire Protection also discussed fire prevention measures as high fire incidents are recorded during the summer season. 

He also urged the public to be vigilant of forest and grass fires that may also happen during the El Niño period. (OTB/PIA Region 2) 

About the Author

Oliver Baccay

Information Officer IV

Region 2

  • Assistant Regional Director, Philippine Information Agency Region 2
  • Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication 
  • Graduate of Master of Arts in Education, major in English
  • Graduate of Doctor in Public Administration

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