|DA praises farmers who conserved water ahead of El Niño|
|Written by DA-OSEC|
|Monday, 16 March 2015 06:00|
The Department of Agriculture today praised farmers who have been conserving water with the onset of a mild El Niño which is expected to extend the dry season.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said although El Niño is here, “we are prepared, it will not turn out to be the sum of all our fears.”
El Niño, the irregular rise in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean, is accompanied by below average rainfall.
Over the past few months, the Secretary has been calling on farmers and the general public to conserve water as a precautionary measure in case the country experiences a prolonged dry spell.
“It is wise and nice that farmers conserved water. It made them ready,” Alcala said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recently said the country is currently experiencing mild El Niño, which may not last long, and hopefully, not disastrous.
Earlier, the DA said it plans to fast-track the implementation of small-scale irrigation projects (SSIPs) under the National Rice Program, in collaboration with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and DA Regional Field Units in preparation for the summer months. It is also part of the DA’s efforts to achieve a climate change resilient agriculture sector.
According to the Secretary, watershed degradation and increased siltation has caused a decline in streamflow, and “it is imperative that we integrate watershed management in the project planning and implementation.”
He added, summer is the opportune time for reservoirs and canals to be de-silted.
According to the Secretary, design inputs should be reviewed and updated to include potential impacts of climate change.
Construction of rainwater harvesting facilities and appropriate drainage facilities should be prioritized, and rural farm roads should also not be neglected, the Secretary said.
“How can we get to the proposed irrigation project site if there is no road that leads there?” he added.
Usec. Emerson U. Palad
Undersecretary for Field Operations & Spokesperson
Contact No. 09219780403
|Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 06:00|