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Ilocos farmers seek gov’t help to produce rain

LAOAG CITY, June 16 –Farmer-leaders in this northern part of Luzon urged government authorities here to conduct cloud-seeding operation to produce rain to ease the impact of prolonged dry spell in the province.

Rogelio Ceredon, president of the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council (MAFC) in Dingras town, said Tuesday hectares of agricultural lands planted with hybrid rice failed to survive the prolonged dry spell.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that the dry spell will continue until the end of this month.

According to Engr. Cynthia Iglesia, chief of the PAGASA weather station in Laoag said Tuesday most parts of Ilocos Norte were still experiencing water shortage or below normal rainfall even if it rained for three consecutive days now.

Farmers believe that a cloud seeding operation will help them cope with the abnormal weather condition.

Cloud seeding is the process of spreading dry ice or silver iodide aerosols on the upper clouds to simulate the precipitation process and induce rain.

With the help of weather experts, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under the Department of Agriculture have been conducting cloud seeding operations in rainless areas of the country to counter drought.

In a farmer-leaders forum held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan , attended by representatives of the DA, PAG-ASA, National Irrigation Administration and Philippine Rice Research Institute, Governor Imee Marcos assured farmers the provincial government will work things out for the cloud seeding operation in rainless areas of the province.

On the same day, a letter addressed to Dr. Silvino Tejada, executive director of the BSWM, requested for the planned cloud seeding operation here.(PNA)


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