Eastern Visayas won’t experience El Niño-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
THE El Niño phenomenon forecasted by the state weather bureau toward the end of the year will not be felt in the region as Eastern Visayas welcomes the wet season.
Department of Agriculture (DA) rice program coordinator Rufino Ayaso said the reversed weather phenomenon in the region will be advantageous to the farming sector.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said that warmer sea surface temperature has strengthened in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean since June, which indicated an evolving El Niño condition.
“Even if there’s El Niño, the impact will not be felt in the region since we are approaching rainy season,” Ayaso said.
The DA regional office earlier reported that some areas in Eastern Visayas already suffered the impact of prolong dry season even before the state weather bureau forecast of possible El Niño phenomenon.
DA regional executive director Antonio Gerundio said some farms in Sta. Fe, San Miguel, and Alangalang, all in Leyte, reportedly dried up, prompting farmer’s group to borrow water pumps from their office.
“In San Jorge, Samar, planting of basmati rice variety intended for export has been delayed as farmers waited for rain until the later part of August,” Gerundio said.
In some towns in Leyte and Ormoc City, farmers employed the rotational irrigational water given the shortage of water.
But Ayaso said that sporadic rainfall in the past two weeks somehow addressed the problem of water stress in the region.
“The regional office had already asked the Bureau of Soils and Water Management to conduct cloud seeding operation. Had the dry season continued until this week, the DA would push through the activity,” Ayaso said.
Even if the region is moving toward wet season, the DA is making sure that the 40 water pumps are in good conditions and readily available for farmer’s group in rice farms adversely affected by the dry season.
The official was optimistic that the warm weather between June to August was not very damaging, and that they are still hopeful to hit the production target of 1,014,122 metric tons of rice or unhusked rice.
He said the region is vulnerable to drought during dry season considering that 95,000 hectares of the 155,000 hectares planted with rice in the region are rainfed.
To sustain its dry spell mitigation efforts, the farm department will implement small-scale irrigation project in areas outside the coverage of national irrigation system.
These projects include small water impounding facilities, diversion dams, shallow tube wells, small farm reservoirs, pump irrigation system for open source, and spring development. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)