INDUCING rain isn’t enough to help the drought-hit affected farmers thus the additional 60 hours of cloud seeding worth P3.5 million is underway, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Northern Mindanao said on April 25.
The DA is set to carry out the next cloud seeding in May.
Chief of Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (Rafid) Mary Grace Sta. Elena said cloud seeding is the agency’s last resort since the DA is only mandated to aid in farm production.
With the long drought still persisting, the other assistance DA could allocate is being rendered useless. Thus, cloud seeding was implemented in March and April.
Cloud seeding has been the last option to save the farmers' standing crops, cool down the temperature of a certain place, and add more water in irrigation areas, Sta. Elena explained.
"Dili man gyud siya enough, dili pud gyud siya garantiya nga pag ma-ulanan ang mga farming areas sa mga mag-uuma, makatanum na dayon sila, dili gyud siya ing-ana," Sta. Elena said.
Last week, the farmers hit by the drought criticized DA on its cloud seeding as it only wasted money and time and suggested that distribution of water pumps and other irrigation facilities would be more useful.
Melvie Madayag, 42, a farmer from Opol, said cloud seeding only brought light rains which may damage their crops and livestock instead of helping the drought victims.
Madayag said what the farmers need are water pumps and food assistance while they wait for the planting season in which the aid from DA would be more vital.
But Sta. Elena refuted that the DA has since been distributing water pumps in agriculture offices of each cities and municipalities, however farmers cannot use them if they do not cooperate with their respective agriculturists, she added.
"Kung gusto nila maabtan ug mahatagan sa ayuda gikan sa gobyerno, kinahanglan nila gyud nga mag-cooperate pud sa ilang agriculturists ug didto sila magpa-lista to avail the facilities," she said, adding that farmers should go to the nearest DA office and inquire on the program.
Despite the criticisms, Sta. Elena said other places such as Malitbog and Talakag towns in Bukidnon and Claveria and Villanueva towns in Misamis Oriental, experienced heavy rains from the cloud seeding implemented early this month.