Negros Occidental is doing well in mitigating the effects on crops caused by the drought and pests, and bracing for the incoming rainy season, Armando Abaño, senior agriculturist at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said yesterday.
During the ongoing Integrated Pest Management refresher course at Pavillon Hotel, Abaño said it was held to enhance capabilities in crop protection, including those for pest and diseases, and climate change-caused damages.
The provincial, municipal and city governments have responded well to the effects of the drought. The two-day activity that will end today is aimed to come up with a clear-cut strategy that is location specific, he said.
Responses to extreme climate effects on crops were also discussed as well as plans to mitigate the effects of La Niña, he said.
“We are forecasting the effects and planning the mitigating responses just like what we did in El Niño phenomenon,” he said.
He said the Department of Agriculture has forecast the coming challenges to be brought by the drought. He said the provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, has also allotted P1 million for preventive and curative measures for pest management alone.
“During the El Niño in the 90s, we struggled because some pests were new to us. Now the agriculturists are more skilled and have helped contain the pests such as rats and black bug in a short time because of the community-based approach,” he said.
Abaño also lauded the active participation of the LGUs, barangay council, Barangay Pest Brigade and rural-based farmers' associations that helped in containing the crop pests.*KBC
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