Zambo defers cloud seeding, thanks to rains

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 29 Apr) – Thanks to the frequent rains the past days, the city government, through the Office of the City Agriculture, is temporarily deferring the conduct of cloud seeding operations.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said Wednesday that of cloud seeding is no longer needed because of the rains.

However, Palacat said inducing artificial rain would be pursued should the dry spell persist and further increase damage to the agriculture sector.

Palacat has reported that the damage to agricultural and fishery products due to the prolonged dry spell had already reached P140.8 million as of April 8.

He said that so far 10,270 hectares of agricultural lands and fishponds were damaged, although 82 percent of these still have chances of recovery.

Crops affected, Palacat said, include rice, banana, assorted vegetables, rubber, cassava, corn, and even mango and coconut trees and fishponds.

He said he constantly coordinates with the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) for weather forecasts.

This city, for several days now, has been experiencing rains, prompting authorities to think twice about the conduct of the cloud seeding operations, which require a huge funding.

Based on the proposal, the counterpart of the Department of Agriculture will be P3 million, the Zamboanga City Water District will share P700,000 while the local government will chip in P300,000.

The City Council has approved last April 1 a resolution placing this city under a state of calamity due to the prolonged dry spell per recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC).

The cloud seeding operation is one of the most immediate measures recommended to mitigate the effects of the long dry spell in this city.

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 clouds to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.