DA gears up for La Niña; Greater agriculture damage than El Niño expected

DA gears up for La Niña; Greater agriculture damage than El Niño expected

THE effects of the El Niño phenomenon persist in the Philippines.

This is evidenced by the severe drought in different agricultural farms that cause damage to some crops.

The Department of Agriculture reported that the damage and losses have amounted to 5.9 billion pesos due to El Niño.

But as drought persists in many areas due to El Niño, the country may be facing the onset of La Niña.

There’s a high chance of disruptions in Philippine agricultural and food production, typhoons, heavy rains and floods as La Niña is expected.

According to PAGASA, there is a 60% chance that La Niña will develop between June and July this year.

The Department of Agriculture admits that La Niña this year may cause more damage to the agricultural sector compared to El Niño.

“For the past 25 years, our record of El Niño episodes is eight. This means that this El Niño is the eighth,” according to U-Nichols Manalo, Assistant Secretary for Operations, DA.

“However, the coverage is larger because there are 8 episodes compared to 16 episodes. So, you do the math. Therefore, the damage from La Niña is greater,” Manalo added.

The Department of Agriculture is conducting assessments in areas previously affected by La Niña.

This is to ensure preparedness for heavy rainfall.

Among the crops severely affected during the rainy season are rice, corn, and high-value crops.

Therefore, the DA is collaborating with farmer groups, local governments, and other agencies to focus on water management during La Niña.

“Manage the available irrigation waters. And now, there will be a lot of water coming because of La Niña. So, what’s needed is still the same, water management, especially drainage management in farms,” Manalo stressed.

President Bongbong Marcos called on LGUs to brace for the upcoming La Niña phenomenon and prepare programs to help the people during the extreme weather disturbance that brings torrential rains.

Although the government is prepared for the expected La Niña onslaught, the chief executive rallied LGUs to prepare for all kinds of eventualities.

However, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has inventoried warehouses and resource centers.

This is to ensure that there are enough food packs and non-food items pre-positioned in various regions for the possible effects of La Niña.


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