Dry spell ruins 247 ha rice, corn fields –OCA PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 March 2015 11:25

The City Agriculturist Office has reported that some 247 hectares of rice and corn fields were ravaged due to continuing dry spell and expects the situation to worsen in the event rains will not come until May.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the initial report covers 238 hectares of rice fields and 9 hectares of corn fields scattered in the various agricultural areas in the city.

However, Palacat emphasized that the dry spell during the months of February, March and early part of April are considered normal occurrence every year. “It will be a different story if the dry spell will continue until May as there will be more damages to crops and ultimately to our agricultural supply”.

May is a planting season and should the dry spell continues by then, the planting of crops will be delayed and eventually the supply of agricultural products will be affected, he said apprehensively.

Monitoring of different irrigation dams and creeks in the city, Palacat said revealed that water level has receded by one feet or more due to the dry spell causing damage to crops.

As an option and to mitigate the impact, the City Agriculturist recommends the planting of crops that are resistant to severe heat such as legumes to include mongo and other vegetables.

Monitoring is also focused on fishponds and fishery products to determine how much has been affected by the dry spell.

Palacat has suggested that cloud seeding operations should be immediately done as a mitigating measure to the continuing dry spell, which has also led to water rationing as well as power curtailment in the city and other parts of Mindanao.

He also called for a stop to slash and burn farming especially at this time, as this may spread out to crops and fruit trees and other properties. Numerous bush fire incidents have been reported in various parts of the city recently.

Palacat reported the current situation in the agriculture sector during a meeting called by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) headed by officer-in-charge Elmeir Apolinario. He is expected to submit his official report to Mayor Beng Climaco with recommendations to assist the affected farmers. — Sheila Covarrubias