The Department of Agriculture Cordillera (DA-CAR), in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), has merged its efforts into the consolidation and clustering of the irrigators associations (IAs) in the region, particularly in the rice plantation areas, which may be affected by El Niño this 2023 and 2024.
In a convergence meeting, DA Regional Rice Program Coordinator Edwin Joseph Franco explained that through the gathered clustered data by the agriculture department to be submitted to the NIA for consolidation, identified members of the IAs that will experience the effects of El Niño will be part of the intervention efforts to be implemented by the DA.
“DA-CAR will be sharing with NIA the data gathered from the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation program for them to consider in establishing their data in terms of early identification of irrigators associations that may be affected by El Nino, for them to be beneficiaries in the distribution of seeds and fertilizers under the National Rice Program,” Franco said.
El Niño refers to a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
State weather bureau PAGASA
forecasts show a mild to moderate effect of El Niño will be felt in the Cordillera starting in the month of October 2023 until early 2024.
NIA has provided DA-CAR with a 2023 cropping calendar until the month of October for both agencies to collaborate and coordinate efforts, such as adjustments in the cropping calendar prior to the effects of El Niño.
Based on the directives for the convergence initiatives in preparation for El Niño in CAR, all NIA regional irrigation managers and project managers and DA regional field offices are instructed to cooperate and coordinate to organize all IAs into clusters.
For both the national and communal systems, one IA will be identified as one cluster, with the organized IA cluster identified by its name, having a list of contact persons, having an organized list of farmer-members registered or not registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), including a list of farm address and farm size.
The submitted list should be grouped per province and municipality with the list of the farmer-members to be further checked and validated with RSBSA following its guidelines to ensure all members are RSBSA-registered, and for efficient and effective supervision and monitoring, specific guidelines will be issued relative to seeds, fertilizer distribution, and other interventions.
Once the clusters are organized, a need assessment and planning workshop will be conducted as a next step.