Farmers urged to advance rice cropping calendar-A A +A
Thursday, February 2, 2012
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is encouraging rice farmers to advance their “cropping calendar” by a month or two to avoid typhoons that usually occur during the months of October to November.
“We are usually hit by strong typhoons in October so we have to set the (cropping) season earlier,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said in a statement furnished Sun.Star Thursday, adding the National Rice Program directorate and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will spearhead the initiative in coordination with concerned irrigators associations.
“It is from irrigation where we can attain the biggest difference for our yield. Farmers can plant rice only once using rainwater but we can make it two and a half times if irrigation is improved,” he added. “If we have enough water through more irrigation systems in place, it is possible to shift the trend where we would harvest 60 percent of our total production during the dry season.”
Traditionally, 60 percent of the annual palay harvest came from the main wet season cropping while the remaining 40 percent from the dry season cropping, the DA noted.
Aside from advancing the cropping calendar, the agency is also working closely with the Department of Public Works and Highways to use the full potential of flood control projects and major dams.
The DA-NIA also plans to build a series of impounding dams downstream of major dams that will serve as check dams. “These will store excess water during the rainy season and irrigate farms during the dry season.” (CGC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 03, 2012.