The Agriculture Department said Tuesday it will implement programs aimed at reducing rice production risks due to the El Niño weather system.
DA Assistant Secretary and National Rice Program Coordinator Eilberto de Luna said the agency was ready for the prolonged dry spell despite recent rains.
“We will not be caught unprepared, especially now that the weather is becoming harder and harder to predict,” De Luna said.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration earlier said it expected El Niño to hit the country starting in the last quarter of 2014 and last until the first quarter of 2015.
Pagasa predicted changes in the normal rainfall pattern generally resulting in varying dryness in most parts of the country.
De Luna said modern farming and fishery technologies had also been utilized to cushion the effects of El Niño.
The country’s small-scale irrigation systems and facilities were being improved to make them more resilient to the disastrous effects of harsh weather and other calamities, De Luna said.
De Luna added the DA would further enhance the climate change awareness and adaptation capacity of farmers and other stakeholders.
The Philippine Rice Institute also recommended the use of early-maturing varieties this wet season.