Cloud seeding set as El Niño agri damage hit P 12.98 M PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 11:38

by Jasmine Mohammadsali

Cloud seeding operations are set to commence next month as part of the measures slated to address the ongoing dry spell in the City.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat on Tuesday, January 26, said that the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be conducting a cloud seeding operation in the City on February 15.

All costs and expenses for the operation will be shouldered by PAGASA, he said.

Based on the latest report submitted by the Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA), the agricultural damage due to El Niño has hit P 12.98 M, affecting 779 farmers and 14,903.84 metric ton of agricultural crops, including rice, corn, and assorted vegetables.

The damage covers a total of 716.07 hectares – of which only an estimated 43.79 hectares are expected to have a chance of recovery, the report said.

Meanwhile, the OCA has submitted the necessary document to facilitate the emergency procurement of support and operations to address El Niño.

Palacat noted that the OCA is exploring other options and avenues of possible assistance, one of which is the proposal of a German company based in Cagayan de Oro that has expressed a willingness to donate solar water pumps to affected farmers.

The ongoing dry spell has resulted in the implementation of a water rationing scheme at a critical level by the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD). The ZCWD likewise forecasts an extended period of rationing with the decreasing water level and lack of rainfall to replenish the City’s rivers.

As of January 12, Tuesday, the City has been placed under a state of calamity through a City Council resolution based on the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. — Jasmine Mohammadsali