DA to fight El Niño heat with solar energy
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture is preparing for the El Niño, which will come in the last quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018, with measures that include harnessing solar energy.
Piñol said he will present to President Duterte on April 20 a proposal for the immediate start of the Solar Powered Irrigation System all over the country and a request for a budget of P20 billion for 2018 alone.
He said Small Water Impounding Systems will also be established.
He said the National Irrigation Administration will release early the irrigation water for the next planting season to ensure that El Niño will not hit the next harvest.
He said the National Food Authority will fast track its procurement program and import the shortfall in the rice buffer stocks.
The last episode of El Niño in the country was in 2015 and the long dry spell extended to the first quarter of 2016.
It resulted in the negative performance of the Agriculture and Fisheries sectors of as low as -4 percent.