Dry season adds woes to farmers of rain-fed land

IT’S dry season again and for most farmers in the province who don’t have access to irrigation, can only hope for rainfall to save their palay this planting season.

Nestor Batalla, assistant provincial agriculturist said, farming is severely affected during this season that local farmers refer to as ‘gawat’ in the vernacular.

Tagtuyot kaya lahat ng tanim ay talagang apektado ngayon,” he said.

He said only farmers who planted rice in their farms that are connected to the irrigation canals of the re-regulating pond of San Roque Multipurpose Dam in San Manuel are fortunate.

The pond serves as the catch basin of water released for power generation from San Roque dam and irrigates some 75,000 hectares of farmlands in the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Manaoag, Malasiqui and Sta. Barbara.

There are 100,000 hectares of still non-irrigated farm or rain fed farms in Pangasinan.

Batalla said there will be more irrigated farms once the irrigation projects of National Irrigation Administration in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th districts are completed.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculture disclosed that during the dry season, farmers of rain fed land in Eastern towns have to contend not only the absence of irrigation rain but from rat infestation.

Only the towns of Alcala and Bayambang managed to contain the rat infestation problem when the rats attacked onion farms I February and March. (Nora Dominguez)