Cloud seeding eyed in Negros Occidental

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) of Negros Occidental is looking into the possibility of inducing artificial rain or conducting cloud seeding operation as part of its mitigating measures for the summer.

Engineer Igmedio Tabianan, provincial agriculturist, said Wednesday that they are now conducting a survey all over the province to determine where and when the cloud seeding operation would be undertaken.

There are areas like watermelon plantations where artificial rains should not be undertaken as it may damage the plants, he said.


Tabianan said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has allocated funds for OPA to prepare for this kind of weather situation.

Majority of the Mitigation Fund of P74.41 million of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund Investment Plan this year has been allocated to the OPA, including P4 million for cloud seeding operations, P2 million for crop insurance program, and P250,000 for assessment on disaster frequency, consequences and risk estimation.

Although there is no damage report yet from the farmers due to the onset of the summer season, some areas, including Bago City and other parts of southern Negros, have already been taking some measures to cope with the dry season.

With the onset of the summer season, Tabianan encouraged farmers to plant only short duration crops especially vegetables.

Vegetable seeds are available at the OPA office, he said.

He also encouraged farmers to have their crops registered with the Negros First Crop Insurance so that in case of damage brought about by drought or floods, they can claim for the damages.

Tabianan also cautioned the farmers and fisherfolk against the possible plant diseases and pests infestations as well as red tide during summer.

The extreme cold last January downed millions worth of animals in Negros Occidental, but had minimal effect to crops, based on the OPA assessment.
Tabianan said then that the effects of the cold spell were limited to the mountain town of Salvador Benedicto and the areas surrounding the Mt. Kanlaon.

There were no effects to agriculture in the low lands, he added.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 06, 2014.

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