LAOAG CITY, June 17 – At least 645 hectares of farmlands in the southern and eastern towns of Ilocos Norte have dried up due to acute drought, the Provincial Agriculture Office here reported.
Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the prolonged drought had damaged many fruit-bearing trees and vegetable crops for lack of water supply.
She said the provincial government had pledged 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, it initially distributed water pumps to them.
It conducted 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. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- Ilocos Norte)