CEBU, Philippines - Farmers in Cebu City’s mountain barangays have started requesting tools from the city government as they anticipate the adverse effects of the dry season on their crops.
Assistant City Agriculturist Arlie Gesta told The FREEMAN that some farmers have reported experiencing insufficient water supply, particularly those from the upland villages of Sirao and Agsungot, among others.
"No direct damage sa crops but we received requests from Barangay Sirao and Barangay Agsungot for drums and hoses," Gesta said.
He said the agriculture office has foreseen the effects of the summer heat as early as March. While no damage to crops has been reported for now, the office expects to get reports of farm losses three weeks from now due to the expected absence or lack of rain.
During the first week of April, Barangay Sirao reported water leakage in their line. Gesta said the barangay has requested a replacement pipe for the leaking portion.
In Agsungot, residents have been complaining of the decreasing water supply that’s why farmers have requested for farm tools like drums that could be used to store water.
The agriculture office vowed to address these concerns.
Gesta also said the city has made preparation for the possible onset of El Niño by June to August.
"Actually mag-planning mi ana next week in preparation for summer and mild El Niño," he said.
With this, the city agriculture office advised farmers that instead of planting, they should focus on land preparation, like clearing and plowing, to avoid severe damage on crops if ever prolonged drought occurs.
Gesta said the department does not have the exact budget for now that could be used to purchase the drums and hoses needed in the mountain barangays. But he said the city will be acquiring these equipment to be distributed to affected farmers.
He said the department has more water tanks that could take water to areas that need it most. — Hannah Tesorio (FREEMAN)