DA-6 earmarks P6M for cloudseeding operation

File photo
File photo

Despite the coming of the rainy season, the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas (Region 6) has allotted P6 million for possible cloud seeding operations in the region, Engr. Jose Albert Barrogo, DA-6 assistant regional director, said Wednesday, May 22.

Barrogo said their regional director Dennis Arpia is now in their central office in Manila to lobby that funds be allocated for cloud seeding.

He said that while there have been rains already in various parts of Negros Occidental, "it is still below normal based on the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa)."

"The rain may still not be enough for the parched agricultural lands affected by the ongoing drought in the province," he pointed out.

Barrogo said they have monitored seedable clouds in the province that can be enhanced so it will cause rains.

“We met with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson last week to discuss the possibility of cloud seeding operations in the province,” he added.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of National Irrigation Administration–Negros Occidental Irrigation Management Office, Sugar Regulatory Administration, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

Farmers in the province have asked for government intervention to help them with their farmlands which continue to be affected by the drought.

A report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed that the damage to rice, corn, high-value commercial crops (HVCC), and fisheries had reached P318,958,988 on May 15.

Damage to rice was at P298,474,128.14, affecting  8,431 farmers tilling  6,015 hectares of land  in 28 local government units, the OPA reported.

Corn damage was at P8,346,482.26, affecting 280 farmers tilling 189.29 hectares of land in 12 LGUs, it added.

HVCC damage was at P8,582,356, affecting 9,218 farmers tilling 6,287.94 hectares of land in four LGUs, the OPA also reported.

The OPA added that damage to fisheries was P3,556,022, affecting 34 fisherfolk in six LGUs.

The Negros Occidental Association of Chief Executives (ACE) also passed Resolution No. 05 on May 10 that is "urgently requesting" the DA to conduct cloud seeding in Negros Occidental to promptly and adequately address the massive and extensive drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon.*

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