Magalang, Pampanga—Agriculture officials have mapped out strategies ahead of La Nina to mitigate devastating effects to farmers and agricultural crops especially in farming regions including Central Luzon.
"DA is preparing for La Niña to ensure that this will not have devastating effects to agricultural crops," said Sec William Dar, hoping La Nina rains would be enough to fill up most of the dams mostly needed in the second [rice] cropping.
Dar, who was here Tuesday, announced that farmers in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac were harvesting a minimum of six to 10 tons of rice per hectare using the hybrid rice and other innovative technology.
"Central Luzon has a good future in terms of rice agriculture as it lead other regions in palay production," said Dar during his visit here where he was joined by farmers and some local officials Tuesday.
Aside from that, Dar said they were also preparing for La Niña to ensure that this would not have devastating effects to the crops.
The government's weather bureau earlier said the country would experience La Nina or above the normal rainfall from October to December this year.
He encouraged farmers to organize into cooperatives and avail themselves of the government programs for their bright future.
"There is a need to organize farmers and teach them to strengthen their cooperatives so they can do business of buying and selling their produce in a competitive way," Dar explained.
However, he said despite their high yield, most farmers cannot sell their palay because there are only those buying it at P11.00, as compared to the National Food Authority which buys it at P19.00 per kilo.
“NFA is only good for buffer stocking. Hoping in the future, when farmers have established cooperative and associations, they can also buy palay so they can mill and sell it. Our vision is for them to have cooperatives and associations which are equipped with rice processing centers,” the DA chief said.