By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Region has assured public that there should be no cause for alarm for the threat of the El Niño phenomenon throughout the region.
“For now, there is no cause for alarm for our rice farmers throughout the region in terms of the effects of the El Niño phenomenon,” said Marisa G. Garces, senior agriculturist and rice program focal person of DA-Caraga
She also said the data they got from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) suggest that between the march of March and April the five provinces in the region will have a near normal rainfall which is not alarming.
“The color that we have on our chart right now is yellow meaning below normal to green which is near normal rainfall. This should not be a case for alarm for now, but we are slowly receiving reports from the municipal and cities that showed several affected areas, these are those that were hit by the below normal level of rain for the month of January for Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Dinagat Island province,” she added.
Data from PAG-ASA forecast rainfall analysis suggest near normal rainfall that for the entire month of March, the province of Agusan del Norte will have 86.8mm of rainfall, Agusan del Sur about 92.3mm, Surigao del Norte with 81.1mm, Surigao del Sur at 85.6mm and Dinagat Island province with 91.3mm.
But the forecast also show a shift to below normal rainfall by the month of May for the provinces of Agusan del Norte at 79.6mm, Surigao del Sur at 77.2 and the lowest with Surigao del Norte at 70.9mm.
Emmylou T. Presilda, information officer of DA- Region 13 assured that even if the rainfall forecast might suggest near normal rainfall, the DA-Caraga regional office is prepared in case problems might arise in the field.
“We can assure, we are ready assist, DA-Caraga has allocated buffer stocks to assist farmers who could be affected by the phenomenon. In case of crop damage, various inputs have also been prepared including 14,732 bags of rice certified seeds worth P22,392,640. Also available are 4,756 bags of corn seeds worth P6,964,000, and 785 kilograms of assorted vegetables worth P7,800,000,” said Presilda.