CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The El Niño phenomenon has damaged irrigation facilities in Northern Mindanao worth PHP36.4 million, irrigation officials said Thursday.
El Niño is a climate pattern characterized by the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
Jimmy Apostol, the regional manager of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), said that the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao Del Norte were the most affected areas of the long dry spell.
He said that 950 hectares of irrigated land area in Bukidnon were damaged, costing about PHP17.1 million.
In Lanao Del Norte, El Niño damaged 948 hectares of irrigated farmlands costing more than PHP17 million, Apostol said.
He said that the long drought has affected a total of 1,981 farmer beneficiaries of the government irrigation facilities in the provinces of Lanao Del Norte and Bukidnon.
The province of Misamis Occidental registered the lowest, in terms of irrigation damaged, at PHP864,000 involving 48 hectares farmlands.
Apostol said that the data was derived from the estimated cost per hectare vegetative stage of PHP18,000 and estimated cost per hectare “reproductive stage” at PHP20,000.
He said that the NIA has adopted various options to mitigate the situation by implementing a rotational scheme of water delivery and distribution and the provision of pump and engine to irrigation farmers.
Apostol said that the NIA has also embarked on a region wide information campaign to irrigation farmer beneficiaries about various techniques in order to cushion the impact of the El Niño phenomenon. PNA / northboundasia.com