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DA proposes P62M fund for cloud seeding operations to minimize production losses

By Loraine D. Cerillo - Project Development Officer II
December 07, 2015

Cloud Seeding Operation (CSO) is one of the identified mitigating measures to adverse the impact of El Niño in the country. BSWM, as the lead implementing agency of the Department of Agriculture in cloud seeding operations, proposes to conduct CSOs in identified vulnerable agricultural areas and watersheds of the country to minimize the impact of El Niño to crop production which according to DA report, 66,000 farmers have already affected with the production loss of 3.3 billion pesos for the period February-August 2015.

The Department of Agriculture allotted at least P62M worth of CSO to provinces identified to be severely affected per Dry Spell/Drought Outlook from PAGASA. The budget consists of cost for the utilization of aircraft and personnel of Philippine Air Force (PAF) and hiring of civilian aircrafts.

According to PAGASA-CLIMPS, 85% of the country will likely experience drought by the end of June 2016, however, as of October Drought/Dry Spell Assessment of this year, the provinces of Quezon, Camarines Sur, Antique, Sarangani, Northern and Western Samar were the only provinces that are directly affected by El Niño because of the passage of Typhoon Lando that improved the rainfall condition of the country specially Northern Luzon.

Reports released by concerned government agencies say that, water supply augmentation is necessary to irrigated areas and main production areas of the country, citing the major rice production areas of Region 1 (Ilocos), Region 2 (Cagayan), Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4-B (MIMAROPA), and Region 5 (Bicol) which are the identified expected areas to be directly affected by dry spell.

CSOs will also increase water availability for the watershed of reservoirs to be able to save standing crops thereby minimizing production losses.

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