Negros Occidental Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino warned the farmers to brace for a probable El Niño episode in the last weeks of 2018, and reminded them to enroll in crop insurance.
He said weather experts have observed a lower than normal rainfall the past weeks, that signifies an incoming El Niño, probably starting December until the first half of 2019.
He urged the farmers to enroll in the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program as the provincial government is ready to help them.
The province might conduct cloud-seeding if the drought peaks, and Masculino advised the farmers in non-irrigated areas not to plant rice.
However, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist is optimistic on increasing the level of rice sufficiency of the province despite the El Niño, he said.
The rice sufficiency of Neg. Occ. last year was at 94 percent, and the DA Western Visayas gave them a special citation for this record in production, Masculino said.
OPA is waiting for the 38,000 bags of hybrid and inbred palay seedlings from DA, for distribution to farmers.*
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