Aid and production subsidies needed in anticipation of El Nino — farmers

The government should start prepositioning aid and subsidies for farmers and fisherfolks in the wake of the upcoming El Nino that will likely hit the country in the second half of the year, according to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

“It is high time for the Department of Agriculture (DA) to grant P15,000 production subsidies for farmers and fishers. Important support services including seeds, farm inputs and implements are needed, to counter the increasing costs of production.”

If the condition worsens, farmers may not be able to plant in the coming planting season due to lack of rain water and irrigation. This could affect our agriculture and fisheries output, especially rice and vegetables yield. Fisheries and aquaculture output could also be lower than normal as fishes move and disperse into deeper parts of the water.”

In an alert issued yesterday, local weather bureau PAGASA raised the probability of El Nino to 80 percent, forecasting dry conditions in the country from June to August until the first quarter of 2024.

El Niño may also cause below-normal rainfall conditions, which could negatively affect local farming and agriculture. Dry spells and drought may also be experienced.

“Our past experiences have shown that El Niño and other adverse climate patterns may also result in lower agricultural output and even crop failures. Our only option now is how to mitigate the risks and impact of El Niño. Both the government and stakeholders should be prepared,” according to KMP’s Danilo Ramos.

“Sa halip na maghanda para sa kalamidad ng El Nino at epekto nito sa agrikultura, naglalamyerda na naman ang Pangulo at DA Secretary na papunta naman sa London para sa koronasyon ni King Charles,” KMP said.

KMP said they will also closely scrutinize the proposed El Nino mitigation efforts of the National Irrigation Administration and the newly-created Water Resource Management Office. ###

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