PAO NegOr braces for El Niño

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

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Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Villaflores (w/ mic) presenting the mitigating measures to reduce the impact of El Niño phenomenon in the province during a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Managment Council (PDRRMC) meeting. (PIA Negros Oriental)

 

The Office of the Provincial Agriculture (PAO) here is preparing for the possible effects of El Niño.

In a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting, local PAGASA Chief Neptune Catarata said a weak El Niño is present in the tropical Pacific and will likely affect the province with below normal rainfall conditions.

With this, Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Villaflores presented some mitigating measures to lessen the impact of the heat wave in the province.

While dry spell will be experienced in the province, Villaflores said it is expected that rice and corn production may decrease to 50 to 70 percent.

With this, various mitigation and adaption measures are set to include intensification of information dissemination to farmers and other affected stakeholders and production of fruit and forest trees.

The farmers will also be provided by drought-tolerant varieties of rice while increasing the establishment of small scale irrigation systems to farming communities including solar-powered irrigations systems and distribution of polyethylene hose to farmers.

However, Villaflores said some of these mitigating activities may need more than P5 million budgetary requirements.

He also mentioned that the effects of El Niño may lead to a loss of 20-50 percent of crop production in the province due to the possible occurrence of plant pests and diseases.

A series of surveillance and training on pest management and control will be conducted for farmers and “Bantay Peste Brigade” volunteers while providing insecticides upon the occurrence of plant pest during the period and the onset of rainy season.

PAO also braces to respond to expected consequences such as shortage of fish seeds production, damage of crops in shallow water, a decrease of income of farmers, and possible occurrence of red tide in some of the bay areas in the province.

Villaflores said his office has received reported damage of 78 hectares of rice at repining stage in seven barangays in the municipality of Mabinay, but this report is yet to be validated by his office.

Catarata said the weather system may cause varying impacts such as warmer than average surface temperatures and a prolonged dry season.

In May, Negros Oriental is one of the identified areas in the Visayas that will experience a dry spell.

Dry spell means three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall (21 percent to 60 percent reduction from average) or two months of consecutive way below normal rainfall (more than 60 percent reduction from average).

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Dauin LGU to extend aid to highland brew coffee shop

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

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Dauin Mayor Neil Credo (in blue shirt) with members of ANOPIO and local media as they discuss the development of Highland Brew Coffee in Brgy. Baslay, Dauin. (PIA/Negros Oriental)

Dauin Mayor Neil Credo has assured members of the Baslay Farmers Association (BFA) of the financial assistance needed for Highland Brew Coffee’s valued-added service facility and native snacks in a joint briefing with members of the Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (ANOPIO) and local media in Barangay Baslay, Dauin.

A 120-hectare Baslay coffee farm-plantation known for its homegrown highland brew coffee, the facility serves distinctive flavor brewed coffee and is now being visited by local and foreign tourists.

Baslay is 860 meters above sea level where the Highland Brew Coffee shop serves brewed coffee.

Mayor Credo said aside from coffee being served within its plantation, he wanted to have additional servings of native snacks or foods to pair with the coffee.

With that, the mayor offered of an initial P100,000 capital for the purchase of food storage, utensils, food supplies, among others needed for a coffee shop.

The association also requested for a decent and permanent restroom or lavatory for the visitors.

The mayor also pledged that the local government will fix the more than 400-meter road leading to the coffee processing site.

It is noted that aside from the coffee being served within its farmstead, it will also showcase a ride of ‘Tartanilla or Carosa’ being pulled by a carabao.

There are three types of coffee being produced in Baslay, namely Robusta coffee (70 percent), Arabica (30 percent), and the barako coffee or Liberica.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has further developed this farm tourism in Negros Oriental in order to help the countryside.

Some 29 coffee growers and members of BFA received earlier their certificate of participation from DOT-7 Regional Director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano after they completed the seven-day seminar on Cultural Community Tour Guiding at Brgy. Baslay.

Palay, livestock production in NegOr up

By Jennifer C. Tilos

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Bank Officer III Greg Baccay of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Dumaguete Branch presenting statistical data during the Data Appreciation and Financial Literacy Forum in observance of National Statistics Month in October. (PIA7-NegOr)

Palay and livestock production in the province has increased by 24.33 percent and 13.39 percent in 2017 respectively as shown in a Data Appreciation and Financial Literacy Forum by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Bank Officer III Greg Baccay of BSP here said the rice production increased from 55,744 metric tons in 2016 to 69,305 in 2017.

This output was attributed to the increase in harvest resulting from sustained use of high-yield varieties coupled with sufficient water supply from rehabilitated communal irrigation systems in Bayawan and Canlaon cities including the functional small reservoir irrigation projects in the municipalities of Zamboanguita, Dauin, and Valencia.

However, corn production last year has dropped by 6.43 percent as compared in 2016 with a 14.64 percent growth.

Heavy and frequent rainfall contributed to the decrease in the harvest.

It is noted that the shifting of crop from corn to sugarcane in the third congressional district is due to the potential high demand for sugarcane as a result of higher taxes imposed on imported sugar under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Baccay reported that cattle production went up to 5,822 metric tons (MT) while swine increase to 40,886 MT in last year’s production.

The increase in production of livestock was attributed to the continued programs of different local government units such as free deworming services, vaccines, injectable vitamins, and awarding of some livelihood packages consisting of piglets.

For the total volume of fishery production, Baccay said it decreased by 3.18 percent with 11,794.76 metric tons compared to 2,182.75 MT in 2016.

The decrease was mainly attributed to commercial fishing, including less fishing trips due to weather disturbances that brought strong winds and rough seas particularly during the fourth quarter of 2017.

On the other hand, the volume of municipal fisheries production grew by 5.88 due to government’s intervention on providing fiberglass boats to fishermen.