Farmers brace for El Niño

STA. BARBARA–Farmers in Pangasinan tilling lands outside the service areas of the Agno River Irrigation System (ARIS) were advised to plant crops that need only little water to grow for the duration of the mild El Niño phenomenon being experienced in Luzon.

Ernesto Pamuceno, former Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) of Pangasinan, now the provincial president of the Pangasinan Irrigators Association Federation, advised affected farmers of unirrigated lands to plant corn and vegetables that need only little water to grow till they get harvested.

Pamuceno said farmers whose farmlands are getting water from ARIS that draw year-round irrigation water from the San Roque dam, do not have any problem at all today even if the effects of El Niño worsens.

There are more than 12,000 hectares of land being serviced by ARIS and the Sinocalan River Irrigations System but there are more lands that are not irrigated than those being irrigated which are likely to suffer from water shortage.

He said month of May is the start of planting for wet season rice in Pangasinan adding that the only problem foreseen is if ARIS schedules its annual operations break from June 8 to 18 this year to allow little period of adjustment.

He confirmed that the pump generators distributed by farmers by the Department of Agriculture are helping them now to bail them out from the water crisis.

He said these pump generators have a depth of 20 meters where water can be tapped.

A big help, too, he said, are the shallow tube wells distributed by the provincial government for farmers. (Leonardo Micua)

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