Officials, farmers try to fight effects of El Nino
National and local officials are trying to stave off the effects of the worst El Nino in history by giving farmers information, supplies and other interventions.
The coming months are expected to get hotter, with many provinces experiencing drought and dry spell until June.
In Mindanao, the Philippine Information Agency, quoting Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, said the dry spell has affected only 5.3 percent or 33,080 hectares of farmlands in the SOCCSKSARGEN region due to timely dissemination of information to farmers.
Because of advice on the El Nino, the PIA said rice growers opted not to plant palay. It said the DA also continues to seed clouds to induce rain.
Alcala said the DA is considering rehabilitating small water impounding projects and diversion dams.
In Cebu, the provincial government has started distributing P2 million worth of veterinary supplies to growers to strengthen the resistance of livestock against illnesses due to extreme heat.
The Cebu government, in its website, said the veterinary supplies include antibiotics, vitamins, minerals, dewormers, seeds for forages and feeds.
Livestock farmers were advised to put their animals under shaded areas, instead putting them to pasture under the heat, and to give them enough water.
Hog farmers were told to sprinkled pigs, which are prone to heat stroke, with water from time to time. Poultry farm owners were also advised to ensure that chickens get enough ventilation.
The livestock farmers were told to give their animals vitamins, energy-rich food, and water.