Pangasinan survives El Niño, now prepares for La Niña

June 18, 2016 1:59 am 

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, June 16 — The province of Pangasinan, one of the top rice-producing provinces in the country, has been “very lucky” for sustaining only minimal damages due to the El Niño phenomenon, a provincial agricultural executive said.

“Pangasinan was very lucky since it was not greatly affected by El Niño because since the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) announced about the coming of the phenomenon, the provincial government led by Gov. Espino has immediately planned out mitigation measures,” remarked Dalisay Moya, officer-in-charge provincial agriculturist.

Moya, during the 1st Pambansang Mannalon- Mag-uuma- Magbabaul- Magsasaka ng Pilipinas (P4MP) Regional Congress held at the Health and Wellness Center, Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Centre in Lingayen, Pangasinan, said these mitigations measures included the rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems and installation of shallow tube wells irrigation projects in the province.

The provincial government also provided farmers over 6,000 bags of certified and high quality palay seeds and about 600 units of water pumps, said Oftociano Manalo, outgoing regional president of the P4MP in Region 1.

Manalo said the palay seeds were used by farmers in replanting after their crops suffered from El Niño.

He also said that rehabilitation and construction of irrigation facilities in the province such as the Agno River Integrated Irrigation System Extension Project (ARISEP) which would irrigate 12,800 hectares of rice fields in Pangasinan province, are ongoing.

ARISEP will benefit the towns of San Nicolas, Tayug, Sta. Maria, Rosales, Sto. Tomas and Alcala in Pangasinan; and San Manuel town in Tarlac.

On the other hand, Moya said the provincial government has started preparing for La Niña by encouraging farmers to use smart varieties of palay like the submarine and floating rice.

For those farming in low-lying areas, Moya said, farmers have learned to adjust their cropping calendars.

Meanwhile, Governor Amado Espino Jr., guest speaker during the P4MP Congress, a farmer himself, urged his fellow farmers to do their best in their field, noting that agriculture is indispensable.

“We will stay as an agricultural country,” he remarked.

He also called on the government to provide interventions to help the farmers.

“We have started that here in Pangasinan,” he said.

Pangasinan is 200 percent rice self sufficient producing an average of four metric tons or 80 cavans per hectare, said Moya.

The province also remains as the third biggest rice producer in the country, next to Nueva Ecija and Isabela provinces, with 180,000 hectares of farmlands. However, of said area, over 40 percent are still rainfed.

From June 15-17, over 300 farmers from the four provinces Region 1- Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan- gathered in the first P4MP Regional Congress in the country which has the theme, "Empowering the P4MPs towards ASEAN Economic Integration.”

The Congress geared to strengthen the famers and the industry by providing knowledge as climate change mitigation information and good agricultural practices.

According to Director Rogelio Evangelista of the Agricultural Training Institute-Region 1, said Congress was in preparation for the national convention to be held in August. (PNA)

LAP/LVM/JOHANNE MARGARETTE R. MACOB/RMA

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