DA-Davao urges LGUs to monitor areas vs El Niño impact

DA-Davao urges LGUs to monitor areas vs El Niño impact
Jean Nicole Cortes/SunStar File Photo

FOLLOWING the start of the drought season, which peaks in April, the Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao) is encouraging the local government units (LGUs) in the region to conduct monitoring of their areas for the impact of El Niño.

This, following the start of the El Niño phenomenon according to the seasonal forecast and climate outlook of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-Pagasa).

However, despite the onset of the phenomenon, Joedel Lileza, Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) regional focal person of DA-Davao reiterated that the agricultural sector has not yet experienced a critical level of effect even though the impact started to develop in several areas in Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur between November and December 2023.

"As to agri sector, so far wala pa ta nakita na critical level na ang sector kay didto man gud mi nakulbaan tung November pagsulod sa December ba kay part of Mati (Davao Oriental), Matanao (Davao del Sur) medyo nag-crack na ang yuta sa areas na duol sa tanuman,” the official said earlier this week.

(So far, we have not seen that the agri sector is at a critical level because it was in the period of November towards December that we feared as parts of Mati [Davao Oriental] and Matanao [Davao del Sur], the soil in the areas was already cracking near the planted areas.)

Meanwhile, an official from the Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Information Section (Rafis-DA-Davao) confirmed that the agriculture agency has reserved P1 billion in financial aid to support projects of the local farmers and mitigate the possible worst impacts of drought.

“Last year pa nag-start ang El Niño hangtod karon (The El Niño started last year and until now) P1 billion is budget for this whole duration of the El Niño. It includes projects for saving the crops in the vulnerable areas, and also projects for maximizing the agri production in less vulnerable areas. Most of these projects have been implemented since last year,” Celso Vergara, Public Relations Officer II of Rafis-DA-Davao, added.

In 2024, one of the agency’s projects is the full buffer program, wherein P12.5 million will be allocated for rice seeds, P17.6 million for corn seeds, and P7.6 million for high-value crops.

As of February, the entire region is placed under the Yellow level or below normal rainfall.

Reportedly, at least 63 provinces in the country will experience drought, while dry spells will be felt by 12 provinces. DEF

Related stories:

DA-Davao urges LGUs to monitor areas vs El Niño impact
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DA-Davao urges LGUs to monitor areas vs El Niño impact
DOST: No drought spells in Davao Region
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