AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Agriculture (DA) warns farmers in the region to be alert for the possible rush of pests and diseases on crops following the advisory of the presence of moderate El Niño.
"Nakatanom na gayud atong farmers ug nakatubo na pud, kay we advised them for early planting as soon as rainy season started, so we are on lookout for pests," Mary Grace Sta. Elena, chief of Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (Rafid) said.
Sta. Elena said the kind of pests may vary depending on the type of crop and the climate felt in the area.
She said that during the start of rainy season, farmers immediately planted the open-pollinated seeds its office distributed.
Sta. Elena furthered that DA already distributed 1,140 bags of open-pollinated seeds but "there are still more depending on the request of the farmers," she added.
The local weather bureau here said that among the five provinces of the region, the moderate El Niño will affect Misamis Oriental only.
"The El Niño will officially be felt next month and kini muhinay sa 1st quarter next year, ug mo-terminate sa May pa," said Luz Mercado, weather specialist.
Mercado added that even the rains are felt in the previous months; it has not reached the desired amount of rainfall.
"Since February pa, wala gyud niabot sa dapat ug sakto na amount of rainfall ang ulan dinhi sa ato, meaning, way below normal gyud," said Mercado.
However, Mercado said that the public is still experiencing the normal level of temperature, ranging from 21-32 degree Celsius daily.
Mercado advised farmers to plant drought-resistant crops, adding that "Dili gayud dapat corn kay mu-kaging gyud ni siya," said Mercado.
Meanwhile, Sta. Elena said that DA distributed 350 bags of the open pollinated seeds.
For his part, Danilo Jamito, division chief of the provincial agriculture office said that farmers have already planted the seeds which were distributed to them last May.
However, distribution of the seeds are still ongoing, "There are 752 bags of white corn na ato i-distribute, another 350 rice bags and 1,000 fertilizers."
Jamito disclosed that the budget used for assistance still comes from the Seniang rehabilitation project since the supposed P3 million proposed budget intended for the dry spell is still subject for bidding next month.
Seniang devastated some crops and damaged properties during its onset in December 2014.
"Pero mao lang man gihapon kay ang mga nabiktima sa Seniang, naapektuhan na pud ug utro sa dry spell, so bale doble ang help na ilang nadawat ," he added.