Zambo agriculturist: cloud seeding only option to mitigate damage to crops

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 27 March) – The Office of the City Agriculture has strongly recommended for the conduct of cloud seeding operation to prevent further damage to crops.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the cloud seeding operation should be conducted within the remaining days of this month or in April since there are still seedable clouds.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) has committed P3 million, the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) pledged P1.5 million and the city government offered P300,000 as their contributions for the cloud seeding operation.

Palacat foresees the project will not achieve its goal to induce rain should it be delayed to May since there will be no seedable clouds by then.

As a form of weather modification, cloud seeding is the process of spreading either dry ice, or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, through the use of an airplane into the upper part of the clouds to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.

The cloud seeding aims to cushion the effect of the long dry spell which has taken its toll on the agriculture sector of this city.

Palacat said that a total of 8,469.2 hectares of land planted with various crops and fishery products worth P91.9 million have been destroyed as of last week.

In terms of volume, Palacat said that 20,996 metric tons of products were affected.

He said that cloud seeding is the only option available to mitigate further damage to the agri-fishery sector of this city.