Agriculture dept to assess Atok farmers needs

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


LA TRININDAD, Benguet – Atok farmers are formulating plans to combat frost.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Marilyn Sta. Catalina said suggestions from Atok farmers are being evaluated after the weekend meeting in Paoay.

Sta. Catalina said farmers suggested to adjust the planting calendar of crops to circumvent annual frost incidence during first quarter of the year.

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“They said that adjusting the planting calendar will make harvest time earlier, avoiding the frost season,” she reported.

Another suggestion of farmers in the Atok area is to change variety of potatoes to avoid damaging crops due to extreme weather conditions.

Incidence of frost happens in areas without ‘windbreakers’ to combat the cold during these months. Highland farmers have learned how to deal with the frost phenomenon with early morning showering for crops or through wind.

The DA led by Sta. Catalina traveled to Atok town over the weekend to dialog with 100 farmers as part of an information caravan to reiterate effects of frost and impart urgent preventive measures for crops.

Farmers also suggested for a new pumping system for crops to survive frost incidence. Sta. Catalina explained the pump system will vary from each farmer and the built in water system each has adopted. “This suggestion is site specific, we have to review this,” she ended.

The DA also delivered assistance to affected areas in Paoay, Atok and Barangay Madaymen in Kibungan with 10 units of power sprayers; 20 rolls of rubber hose; 50 pieces of plastic drums; and 10 rolls of plastic sheets to be used in making rain-shelters.

The DA has so far installed a P2.4-million water impounding facility, a greenhouse and several units of power sprayers in Atok, usually the most affected area.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16.

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