DA starts cloud seeding in SOCCSKSARGEN
The agriculture department has started cloud seeding operations in SOCCSKSARGEN, one of its interventions meant to mitigate the effects of the El Nino phenomenon.
The agriculture department’s region 12 office started its cloud seeding operations on January 23, 2016 led by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and assisted by the Philippine Air Force.
The El Nino phenomenon is a long drought in the Pacific Ocean that happens every two to seven years. The drought or the warming in the Pacific Ocean happens every seven to nine months but is classified as El Nino when the duration is longer.
Cloud seeding triggers precipitation and induces rain by spreading salt or dry ice on clouds.
The regional executive director of the agriculture department in SOCCSKSARGEN said cloud seeding activities will continue in the region and will target the areas most affected by the dry spell such as Sarangani and South Cotabato.
Each cloud seeding operation costs P40,000 to P45,000 and uses 10 to 11 25-kilogram bags of salt.
The agriculture department’s SOCCSKSARGEN office earmarked P44 million for measures meant at mitigating the effects of the El Nino phenomenon. Aside from cloud seeding, the other measures include seeds and other relief assistance to help farmers restart production.
The office also conducted a briefing in General Santos City with representatives from the four other local government units in SOCCSKSARGEN. The LGU representatives will serve as cloud spotters and identify the clouds, their wind speed and their direction. Observers were also encouraged to take photos of cloud build-ups and post them on the Agri Tayo SOCCSKSARGEN facebook page. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)