Friday, 26 April 2024 08:10


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Cagayan de Oro City’s farmers have largely been protected from the dry spell caused by the intense heat wave being experienced in the country, City Hall’s agricultural chief said on Thursday.
During the program ‘Department in Focus’ hosted by the City Information Office, City Agriculturist Paterno Gonzales Jr. said as early as October last year, they advised the city’s farmers especially those living in non-irrigated areas not to plant crops.
He said a task force was set up by Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy in anticipation of the incoming El Niño dry spell.
‘Together with the (state weather bureau Pagasa and) the regional Department of Agriculture (DA) we conducted an information campaign last year on the (then) incoming dry spell…there are affected areas but in general our farmers didn’t plant,’ Gonzales said.
While a lot of farmers also find work in the city’s urban areas, other agencies stepped up to help them, he said. Gonzales said the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) extended food assistance to the farmers affected by the ongoing dry spell which began in the middle of March.
Meanwhile farmers in the city’s 900 irrigated farmlands continued to plant vegetables and other drought-resistant crops, he said.
‘Mayor Klarex ordered us to find ways to sustain irrigation of our farmlands. Through our spring development project, we distributed over 11 kilometers worth of pipes in order to tap and channel the water from our springs to our farmers’ lands. We also delivered 20 water tanks each with a capacity of 1,000 liters benefitting 372 farmers,’ Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the City Agricultural Productivity Office acquired several geo-resistivity units for their spring development project to enable them to detect groundwater sources.
‘We’re the only local government in the country using this equipment…about P3.9 million worth of spring development projects are being set up in Barangays Tagpangi, Besigan and Tuburan,’ he said.
Gonzales said they also recently launched a P1.5 million solar irrigation project in Barangay F.S. Catanico. ‘This is environment-friendly and is funded by City Hall. More solar powered irrigation projects are on the way to be built in Barangays Dansolihon and Besigan that will benefit 1,000 farmers. These projects are bigger than F.S Catanico and worth P35 million,’ he said. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)