Farmers may start planting

As the weather bureau finally declared the start of rainy season, farmers can now go back to work.

Dr. Roldan Saragena, officer-in-charge Provincial Agriculturist, said, “We are advising the farmers to plant now, we are now on the onset of rainy season or what we call as the first cropping season.”

“There’s nothing to worry if El Niño continues to persist. Sunlight would be good for plants as well,” said referring to the mild dry spell that is expected to linger until the tail-end of the year.

Saragena’s assessment was based on the report of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) posted in its website last June 23.

It said that the country’s current weather condition is “warm and humid with frequent occurrence of rainshowers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.”

“This development signifies the imminent onset of the rainy season under Type 1 climate which covers the western parts of Luzon and Visayas and may set in within the next few days,” the post further reads.

The bureau predicted that “in the coming days moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over the most parts of Western Luzon and Western Visayas due to the Low Pressure Area (LPA) and the southwest monsoon.”

“However, monsoon breaks or period of no rain for a few weeks, are expected during the rainy season,” according to Pag-asa’s report signed by Acting Administrator Vicente Malano.

Saragena also suggested to farmers to plant alternative crops such as mongo, peanuts, camote, squash and other vegetables that can be planted side by side with corn to increase their farm production.

He also urged the farmers to avail of the Capitol’s agri-fishery insurance program with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

Saragena said farmers could approach their municipal agriculture’s office to fill out the insurance forms.

The insurance coverage would include the farmers themselves, livestock, and corn and other high value crops. The Cebu provincial government will pay one hundred percent of the premium.

The mild El Niño damaged about Php 58 million of crops and caused Php 12.4 million losses to livestock so far.