CAgrO deploys measures vs El Niño

CAgrO deploys measures vs El Niño
AP Photo

THE City Government of Davao, through the City Agriculturist’s Office, has begun the deployment of its El Niño action plan as the dry spell continues to damage crops, affecting the livelihood of farmers across the city.

A total of 108 farmers in Davao City have, as of April this year, reported crop damage amounting to P5,161,611 due to the El Niño.

Some 93.33 hectares of crops were damaged by the dry spell in the Tugbok, Marilog, Calinan, and Paquibato Districts.

“Tungod sa kainit, paspas kaayo nauga atong yuta. Paspas kaayo nawala ang tubig sa mga tanom. In fact, naay mga prutas na nag-defoliate na gyud— nangalagas ang dahon (Because of the extreme heat, the soil dried up very fast. Plants dried up very fast. In fact, there are fruit trees that showed defoliation),” said Edgardo Haspe, Head of CAgrO.

In Paquibato District, at least 75 farmers reported damage to 72 hectares of cornfields. Nine hectares of rice paddies in Tugbok and Calinan have dried up, affecting 23 farmers; while 10 farmers in Marilog and Calinan reported 12.33 hectares of damaged high-value crops.

The number of affected farmers is expected to rise, Haspe said, as March to May is the usual planting season for high-value crops.

The local government has prepared for this occasion, said Haspe. Preparations for the El Niño started in January.

“Part of the ways forward is padaghanon pa nato atong irrigation facilities. Right now naa tay ongoing project and due for implementation this year diri sa Paquibato and Marilog Districts (Part of the ways forward is to increase the number of our irrigation facilities. Right now we have ongoing projects due for implementation this year here in Paquibato and Marilog Districts),” he bared.

These water system projects, he said, will benefit more than a hundred farmers in these areas.

Other contingencies for the dry spell include rainwater catchment systems of which 466 have been created in Marilog, 80 in Paquibato, and 42 in Calinan. Some of these rainwater catchment systems are utilized as fish ponds in the highlands.

Additional water distribution devices have also been procured as preparation for the El Niño.

“Naa tay na-procure na daan na around 60 units na bag-ong sprayer and 60 units na water pump (We have already procured 60 units of new sprayers and 60 units of water pumps),” Haspe added.

Of the 60 new sprayers, only five remain in the CAgrO warehouse as the rest have been deployed to farmers who requested them. The water pumps are also for the farmers to borrow upon their request.

Haspe urged farmers affected by the dry spell to ask for assistance from the local government through the CAgrO. CIO

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