FARMERS in Miag-ao, Iloilo plant bulb onion, a high-value crop that can withstand dry conditions. (Photo by Miag-ao Tulad)
THE Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) urged farmers to shift to high-value crops in preparation for the El Niño phenomenon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Administration (PAG-ASA) said Visayas will experience dry season in the first quarter of the year.
Instead of planting rice, Iloilo provincial agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo advised the farmers to grow “alternative crops” that will not demand too much water.
Toledo said some rice variety take 90 to 120 days before maturing.
Although the province experiences light rains brought by the Low Pressure Area (LPA), Toledo said the amount of rainfall is still insufficient to support the rice cropping.
Bulb onions, garlic, monggo, sweet potato, among others, are high-value crops the farmers should consider growing.
For some circumstances, when farmers cannot avoid planting rice, they are advised to register to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).
PCIC is an attachment agency of the Department of Agriculture that is in-charge in insurances to farmers and their agricultural produce.
The provincial agriculturist urged the farmers to avail the insurance which can help them in times they’ll encounter incidents at work.
The PCIC bases on the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) which provides the masterlist of farmers to the municipal agriculturist.