The Department of Agriculture (DA) was recently monitoring affected areas caused by the weak El Niño in Region 7. Using rental drones, the DA Officers were able to deliberate and find appropriate locations for dam construction. A fund worth of PHP 35 Million will be provided as “standby” by the Department of Agriculture to solve agriculture and fishery affected areas in the Central Visayas.
El Niño Hit in Central Visayas
After the drone monitor, the Department of Agriculture announced to the public through different media that areas of Mabinay (Negros Oriental), Balamban (Cebu), Siquijor and Bohol were affected by the “extreme heat”. A total of ninety hectares of farmlands in the Central Visayas dried up and seventy-eight hectares of this is from Mabinay.
According to Department of Agriculture El Niño spokesperson regional technical director Joel Elumba, last year the DA had briefed agriculture stakeholders on the effects of El Nino to crops, livestock, and irrigation. Included in DA’s campaign are ways to optimize the use of non-vulnerable agricultural lands such as maximizing the use of water in areas near dams.
The agriculture sector is very vulnerable to all weather changes, that is why we are always prepared to address impacts of calamities such as the El Nino to agriculture,” Elumba said.
El Niño – State of Calamity
Cebu province has been declared a state of calamity due to damage from El Nino Hit. Elumba said that the raw data from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) were sent via short message service from the concerned Municipal Agriculture office and were consolidated by the OPA which was the basis for its declaration.
These data are still subject for validation by the joint technical team of DA and OPA-Cebu. Once these are validated this will be disseminated to all concerned agencies including those concerned with farm insurance. These will also be the basis of DA’s action and implementation of mitigating measures,” Elumba told media last Tuesday.
There are also reports of losses in the fishery sector with the Tilapia fingerlings. All these data are currently being validated and we continue to extend the necessary assistance to the farmers in Central Visayas,” said Elumba
El Niño damage included 2.8 hectares of agricultural production in Balamban, 267 hectares of corn and rice fields in Asturias, 50 hectares of vegetables and corn products in Naga, 78 hectares of farm produce in Mabinay, Negros Oriental and 20 hectares of assorted crops in Siquijor.
There are also reports of losses in the fishery sector with the Tilapia fingerlings. All these data are currently being validated and we continue to extend the necessary assistance to the farmers in Central Visayas, Elumba said.