BSWM team recommends cloud seeding PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 March 2015 16:04

The two-man team from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) which came to the city to assess the prevailing condition of the drought-stricken farmlands and crops in the city has formally recommended the conduct of cloud seeding operations.

The recommendation is awaiting approval of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat last Friday informed the mayor that the team after its 3-day assessment of the damage to agricultural crops and fishery products, has seen the urgent need to conduct cloud seeding operations to induce artificial rains.

The team, headed by Engr. Corazon Ditarro found the city’s prevailing condition to be falling within the criteria and guidelines for cloud seeding operations after making the rounds of the areas affected in the city including the watershed area from Tuesday to Thursday.

While the initial report of damage amounting to P91 million is already very huge, Ditarro said the assessment was necessary to determine whether or not the prevailing condition of the dry spell in Zamboanga would merit the conduct of cloud seeding operations as earlier pressed by the city government through Mayor Beng Climaco.

In an interview last Tuesday, Ditarro said the assessment follows certain criteria and cloud seeding guidelines of DA-BSWM, which include affected areas should be at least 1,000 hectares, existence of crops with critical growth and critical water level in reservoir. She stressed though that the guidelines do not permit the conduct of cloud seeding operations over the areas or lands with existing fruit-bearing trees like mangoes and that the area should be free from peace and order problems.

She also explained that funds for cloud seeding operations will come from DA-BSWM if they are carried out directly over agricultural lands with counterpart funds from the city government.

The DA is expected to shoulder P3million for the cloud seeding operations, the Zamboanga City Water District will contribute P1.5 million while the city government will provide P300,000 as counterpart fund. — Sheila Covarrubias