Rice farmers in Negros Occidental suffered losses amounting to PHP11.544 million brought by various crop pests in the past four months. A report released by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) on Tuesday showed the infestations were caused by rice black bugs, rats, and bacterial leaf blight between the period November 2018 and February 2019.
The Philippines will have to endure the adverse and worsening effects of the El Niño phenomenon until the end of May, disaster officials said. In a press briefing, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Ricardo Jalad said 41 provinces will be classified as under a dry spell by the end of this month.
A total of 13,630 rice farmers in Iloilo province have suffered crop damages caused by the dry spell, the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) said. Elias Sandig, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist, said the affected farmers are those who planted rice from November last year until February this year.
Agricultural damage caused by the weak El Niño in the Pacific Ocean reached P464.27 million as of Monday, March 11, based on data from the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Operations Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA). There have been 22,918 metric tons (MT) of crops affected, which are mostly corn and rice, and 13,679 hectares (ha) of agricultural lands.
At least 5,400 Filipino farmers have already incurred losses of more than P150 million due to hotter weather caused by El Niño, an initial damage assessment report of the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed. The damage report indicated that El Niño has affected 6,600 hectares of rice and corn farms in Mimaropa and Region 12 with an estimated total production loss of 6,300 metric tons.
Close to 2,000 farmers in Ilocos Norte received their indemnity crop insurance claims on Wednesday from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) in a ceremony held at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac City. Raul Servito, officer-in-charge of PCIC Region 1, said the group comprised the second batch of farmers whose crops were severely damaged by Typhoon Ompong and were entitled to receive benefits from the PCIC program.
The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has disbursed P1.64 billion worth of loans since the launch of its Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program almost two years ago. In a statement, ACPC said a total of 159 lending conduits extended loans to around 33,150 marginal and small farmers and fishers (MSFF).
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) has stated that Visayas -one of the three principal geographical divisions of the nation- will experience a dry season in the first quarter of the year. Therefore, the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) urged farmers to shift to high-value crops in preparation for the El Niño phenomenon.
A total of 18,005 enrolled rice and corn farmers in Negros Occidental received indemnity claims from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) amounting to almost PHP87 million in 2018. Jose Ma. Torres, head of PCIC-Negros Occidental Provincial Extension Office, said on Wednesday the claims were paid through the government’s various insurance programs.
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