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El Nino probably won’t have a big effect on food output.

According to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the production of local foods, particularly rice, and corn, won’t likely be significantly impacted by El Nino.

Diokno stated in a press conference held late on Friday that while the Economic Development Group (EDG) meeting last week discussed the possibility of an El Nino transition occurring in the coming months and possibly lasting through the first quarter of 2024, most models indicate that this transition will be weak to moderate.

According to our map of El Nino’s potential impact zones, rice output should not be significantly impacted, said Diokno.

“Until the first quarter of 2024, a weak to moderate El Nino is anticipated. As a result, we do not anticipate a material decline in domestic production, particularly of rice and corn. Therefore, we do not anticipate a spike in food costs,” he continued.

Diokno stated that local rice production may decrease by about 1.8% this year, citing preliminary projections.

While white corn production will hardly decline, yellow corn production will drop by more than 1%.

Since onions and garlic are normally planted in the first half of the year, Diokno predicted that production will remain unchanged.

Additionally, he claimed that the effect on the production of chicken and pigs is minimal.

El Nino is excellent for catch fisheries but disadvantageous for aquaculture in the fisheries industry, according to Diokno.

Despite these, the National Economic and Development Authority, according to Diokno, recommended setting up the El Nino Team to coordinate the government’s reaction.

The Disaster Task Force is being retooled and strengthened; local field conditions are monitored and updated weekly, the planting calendar is adjusted during the wet season to avoid typhoons, and early dry season planting is encouraged in water-scarce areas.

The conduct of regional coordination meetings, training, assessments, consultations, reporting, the supply of irrigation network services, buffer stocking of agricultural supplies, and prepositioning of pumps and engines are among the additional steps, according to Diokno.

He also mentioned the need to prioritize the 12 million hectares of well-irrigated rice areas, promote crop diversification, intercropping, crop after rice, livestock integration, and provide forage and pasture planting materials in nonthreatened areas in addition to the need to maximize and optimize production there.

The provision of pumps and engine sets, the use of high-value crops with lower water requirements, the use of cloud seeding operations, the use of planting materials, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as the provision of short gestation or drought-tolerant seed varieties are all examples of production-saving strategies for vulnerable areas.

Since ocean temperatures have reached record highs this year, forecasters expect a robust El Nino event.

It may cost the world economy trillions of dollars and have long-term consequences.

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