Senator Villar tells farmers how to counter El Niño

LAOAG CITY, Sept. 24 – – A lawmaker called on the farmers in Luzon area to adjust their cropping season as a practical solution to mitigate the emerging effect of the El Niño phenomenon.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, made her call when she attended the Luzon-wide congress of the Agriculture and Fishery Councils (AFCs) held recently in One Vittoria Hotel in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

Farmer-leaders converged to tackle several anti-El Nino measures and solutions. El Niño is expected to start this October according to the weather bureau.

“Farmers should plant short-term but water resistant crops like vegetables to ensure their harvest even the period of El Niño phenomenon occurs,” Villar said.

The lady senator also advised the farmers to store and conserve rain waters in safe containers ready for watering their growing crops in the fields during the dry season.

“However, there’s a need now by the national government to build more irrigation facilities for use by the farmers in watering their crops in the coming dry season,” she said.

Engineer Edgardo Gonzales, regional technical director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) of Region 1, said their office is prepared to conduct cloud seeding operations provided the areas in need of it should be pre-determined.

“Our office is giving seed support and water pump irrigation facilities – assistance to help ease the (worry) of farmers from El Niño,” said Gonzales.

Meanwhile, the farmers and local officials in Ilocos Norte were alarmed of the widening effect of El Niño because of the scarcity of water for use in irrigating their growing crop.

Dingras town Mayor Erdio Valenzuela admitted that some crops growing in their farm fields were damaged due to insufficient water for irrigation.

It was reported that drought along the farmlands in the towns of Vintar and Bacarra was also observed because of lack of water in the irrigation system. (VHS/FGL/PIA- 1, Ilocos Norte)