In anticipation of the El Niño, the Cebu Provincial Government advised farmers to focus on planting short duration crops that can withstand the dry spell, said Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena.
Saragena cited pechay, kangkong, and lettuce as recommended short-term crops to be planted this summer. He also said that planting camote is advisable because it can withstand and thrive in hot weather conditions.
Farmers were also told to practice multiple cropping or the planting of two to three crops in an area in one growing season to reduce the risk of economic loss. Getting more than one crop simultaneously is beneficial because one product will compensate if the other product sells less in the market.
Saragena also reminded the farmers to be vigilant about the weather, as it is customary for farmers to start planting when there is an occasional rain. He asked farmers to listen to the advisory of their municipal agriculturists and not to rely on the unpredictable weather.
The Provincial Agriculturist also urged farmers to strengthen their water catchments.
Saragena said the provincial government will convene all the municipal agriculturists to discuss preparations and counter measures on the ill effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
“Akong giawhag ang mga maguuma nga makisusi sa ilang local agriculturists kon unsay angay andamon o bantayan sa ElNiño (I call on farmers to inquire with their local agriculturists on what to prepare and watch out for during El Niño),” Saragena said.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) characterized El Niño as a condition of unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, which will result in drier conditions and decreased rainfall. PAGASA is predicting the onset of El Niño this June.