URDANETA CITY–Farmers in this city are not quite feeling the pinch of El Niño, thanks to preparations and help extended by the local government.
Anticipating the prolonged dry spell that comes with an El Niño situation, the city government purchased in December last year 100 water pumps as a back-up source for irrigation.
Mayor Amadeo Perez Jr. said the water pumps are intended as a “first-aid to our farmers” in the face of El Niño, which was already predicted by weather officials as early as the middle half of last year.
“Right now, there is still no farmland affected,” Perez said, but local officials will meet with farmers next week “to plan for the worse yet to come” in April until June.
Perez said the water supply from the communal irrigation system has already diminished but they remain hopeful that it will still last until March so that the rice crops can still be harvested.
Based on government data, about 80% of Urdaneta’s land area is still devoted to agriculture and the population still largely depend on farming as its main livelihood although the local government’s income mainly comes from business taxes in the city’s commercial area.