Monday, July 13, 2015

Ilocos Norte farmers seek gov’t help to produce rain

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Farmer-leaders in this northern part of Luzon have sought the help of government authorities here to plan for the conduct of cloud seeding operation to produce more rain.

Rogelio Ceredon, president of the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council (MAFC) in Dingras, Ilocos Norte said  hectares of agricultural lands planted with hybrid rice failed to survive the prolonged dry spell, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported it will continue until the end of this month.

According to Engr. Cynthia Iglesia, chief of the PAGASA weather station in Laoag said  most parts of Ilocos Norte is still experiencing water shortage or below normal rainfall even if it rained for three consecutive days now.

As more than 11 typhoons is expected to hit the Philippines until December, farmers expressed their concern a cloud seeding operation to induce rain may help them cope with the abnormal weather condition.

Cloud seeding is the process of spreading dry ice or silver iodide aerosols on the upper clouds to simulate the precipitation process and induce rain.

With the help of weather experts, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under the Department of Agriculture have been conducting cloud seeding operations in rainless areas of the country to counter drought.

In a farmer-leaders forum held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan attended by representatives of the Dept. of Agriculture, PAG-ASA, National Irrigation Administration and Philippine Rice Research Institute, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos assured farmers the provincial government will work things out for the cloud seeding operation in rainless areas of the province.

On the same day, a letter addressed to Dr. Silvino Tejada, executive director of the BSWM was made to request for the planned cloud seeding operation here.

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