The City Agriculturist’s Office (CAgrO) has intensified its efforts to distribute planting materials to farmers as the city braces against the impact of the dry season which is expected to hit full swing in the third quarter of this year.

During the dry season, agricultural outputs, especially “cereals” or crops that need a lot of water to survive, are expected to decrease. Plant diseases also become prevalent during the dry season.

CAgrO Seedbank and Research Division chief Ramon Lingatong, in an interview during the Madayaw Davao program aired over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday, said his office has increased the output of the CAgrO’s plant nursery section, tissue laboratory section, biological control section, vermicomposting, and greenhouses— all of which are housed within CAgrO’s facility in Malagos.

Lingatong said the plant nursery section mainly produces fruit trees while the tissue laboratory section produces disease-free abaca and banana plantlets that will be distributed to farmers all over the city.

Farmers can avail themselves of the planting materials free of charge. They are also eligible to receive fertilizers, biological control such as trichogramma, and even base nutrients for soil, as long as they have the space to grow the plants and their residency in the city is validated.

“Ang atong guidelines lang kay dapat taga-Dabaw ka, Dabawenyo gyud ka. And imong uma naa sa Davao City. Unya naa gyud dapat kay katamnan (Under our guidelines, you must be a resident of Davao City. Your farm must be within Davao City. And you must also have the space for planting),” Lingatog said.

The CAgrO currently has seven district offices located in Marilog, Paquibato, Tugbok, Baguio, Toril, Talomo and Buhangin-Bunawan.

Lingatong said farmers can receive these planting materials by visiting the nearest CAgrO district office where designated Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAO) and agricultural technologist are tasked to monitor the farmers within their respective areas of responsibility.

Upon request for planting materials, farmers will then be issued a Request Issuance Slip from the district office which will be subject for approval by the CAgrO main office.

Davao City residents can also avail themselves of free seedlings and plantlets distributed during the Barangay Service Caravan of the local government. Vergetable seeds, fruit trees seedlings, reading materials and other supplemental planting materials are also distributed during the caravan.

Aside from the distribution of planting materials, the CAgrO is also keeping close inventory of water supply in the agricultural districts.

Lingatog said that the office has water pumps on stand by and ready to be lent to areas in need of watering this El Niño season.

With this, Lingatog urged farmers and citizens to avail of the services and programs of the City Agriculturist’s Office to mitigate the impact of the dry season and ensure food security in the city.

“Sa katawhan sa Davao City, either mangingisda or mang-uuma, kung aduna moy mga panginahanglan duol lang mo sa district offices nato (To the people of Davao City, either fisherfolk or farmers, if you are in need of any assistance, just visit our district offices),” he said.

“Ayaw lang mog kaulaw, duol lang mo sa mga district offices sama sa akong giingon kay kining atong pondo, para gyud ni sa inyoha (Do not hesitate, visit the district offices I meantioned because the funds that we have here are meant for you),” Lingatog added. CIO