September 30, 2023

The government continues to beef up preparations to mitigate the effects of the looming El Niño phenomenon on farmers and crops.

Department of Agriculture Asec. Kristine Evangelistasaid coordination between agencies of the government is ongoing to ensure the agricultural sector will be protected from the effects of the natural calamity.

“The National Rice Program, together with our Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program are working with our farmers, preparing them also for better irrigation, that is in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration because irrigation will play a big part,” she said.

She added they are keeping a close watch on areas that will be severely hit by the phenomenon.

“They are continuously looking at the areas that will be hit by El Niño as compared to those areas that will be spared so that our production will be compensated for whatever they cannot produce for certain reasons,” the DA spokesperson added.

She added that DA is putting all its resources and programs against the threat of El Niño.

“Right now, when we talk about El Niño, the focus really is on rice because we don’t want rice to be hit,” Evangelista said.

“Because you know that we are a rice-eating country, so all resources and all programs of the DA including irrigation, farm clustering, digitalization – that’s being put in place as our response to El Niño threat,” she added.

Earlier reports said El Niño will likely develop in July to September this year and may persist until 2024. PNA