Saturday , May 26, 2018

Department of Agriculture gears up for dry season

IRRIGATION and cloud seeding projects are being fast-tracked by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in line with a possible El Niño that may hit the Philippines and other countries in the Pacific region by late summer.

“We are fast-tracking our small-scale irrigation projects like the small water impounding projects, spring developments, diversion dams, and small farm reservoirs. Also, our procurement for the open surface pumps is already on going,” DA-Davao Regional Director Ricardo Oñate told SunStar Davao in a text message.

It was earlier reported that a P1 million-budget was proposed December of last year for the Open Surface Pump, a small-scale irrigation project to aid farm irrigation especially in times of drought.

The objective of the project is to provide mobile open source pump that will be driven by huge trucks per province. This pump will suck in water from nearby bodies of water such as ponds, rivers, or springs, which will be distributed from one farm to the other.

Oñate also said they have procured a P2.5 million-budget from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management for cloud seeding projects.

“Specific schedules and areas in the region to undergo cloud seeding will be based on the cloud formations but usually our vulnerable area is always Davao del Sur,” he said.

According to the Climate Prediction Center of the United States, at least one half of their dynamical model forecasts anticipate an onset of El Niño by April to June.

“Because of typically lower skill in forecasts made at this time of the year, and the lingering La Niña-like tropical convection and wind patterns over the western half of the Pacific basin, the forecaster consensus favors Enso-neutral during April-June with a 60 to 65 percent chance. Thereafter, there are increasing odds for El Niño toward the second half of 2017 (50 percent chance from approximately August-December),” according to their official website.