By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The wet conditions experienced in Negros Occidental in the past few days has somewhat lessened the impact of the El Niño phenomenon on the province’s agriculture sector.
Dr. Gina Genzola, acting head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), said, based on the climate models from the state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the El Niño phenomenon’s effect was expected to be moderate or strong.
However, Genzola explained that Negros Occidental only experienced moderate El Niño conditions, but some areas in the province will still experience rains.
The rainy weather conditions are caused by a combination of a shear line from a cold front and a low pressure area.
Genzola said the OPA has already prepared measures to mitigate the impact of the dry spell in the province.
Among the measures being implemented include planting drought-resistant crops.
In Bago City, where around 30 percent of Negros Occidental’s rice supply comes from, the OPA has implemented measures to counter the effects of the dry spell on rice production by adopting the wetting and drying method of irrigation.
El Niño is a climate pattern where the unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean’s surface water increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions that potentially cause dry spells and droughts./DGB, WDJ