In April 2016, Bicol experienced drought throughout the region that greatly affected the planting of local rice farmers for the wet season. This phenomenon greatly affected the yield of rice, being one of the country’s primary crops, as it is vulnerable to extreme weather and changes in rainfall.

But farmers who have the access to the shallow tube wells (STW) installed by BAWP in Camarines Sur took risks and planted their crops to survive.

The installed STW in Barangay Iraya in Buhi, Camarines Sur irrigated 15.5 hectares of rice field for the benefit of 12 farmers. Similarly, the STWs in Barangays San Esteban and San Roque in Nabua, Camarines Sur, irrigated 6.5 hectares with eight beneficiaries and 5.45 hectares with 16 beneficiaries, respectively.

 The STW beneficiaries in Barangay San Esteban, Nabua and Barangay Iraya, Buhi, Camarines Sur, have increased their yields compared from previous year by 17.3% and 20.2 % respectively. However, the yield of STW beneficiaries in Barangay San Roque Madawon in Nabua had slightly decreased by 7.3% due to the losses incurred during the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Karen where rice planted that were already in flowering and harvesting stages were affected.

Some farmers in the upland areas also decided to plant drought-tolerant crops like peanut and mungbeans as one of the adaptation measures they learned from the Climate Field Schools implemented by BAWP. - Annalyn I. Olaño