Philippines - El Niño causes P109-M agricultural loss

01.02.2024 121 views

Just a week after logging a P717,000 agriculture loss due to the ongoing strong El Niño which is expected to last until February, the state's agriculture sector has now suffered damages and losses amounting to more than P109 million, the Department of Agriculture reported.

Based on the assessments of DA Regional Field Offices in Western Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula on Tuesday, damage and losses have been reported amounting to P109.44 million, affecting 2,602 farmers, with a volume of output loss of 4,738 metric tons on 2,177 impacted hectares of rice farmlands, where the majority of the damage and losses incurred on rice are in the reproductive state.

Iloilo recorded the highest loss in terms of value, with an estimated cost between P100,000 and P200,000, followed by Zamboanga del Norte with a value loss ranging from P1,000 to P10,000.

The data reported is subject to validation, as the DA noted.

With this, the department has taken interventions such as regular monitoring of weather conditions and actual ground situation, continuous dissemination of advisories and agro-meteorological information through provincial, municipal, and city agriculturists and report officers through Facebook and Messenger, and information on proper crop management during El Niño, including adjustment of planting schedules and optimizing fertilizer use, field validation of areas vulnerable to drought and dry spells, positioning of interventions for farmers to be affected, data analysis on planting and harvesting (rice and corn), sources of irrigation systems (dams, SWIP, SSIPs), as well as the status of irrigation facilities (operational, non-operational), joint area assessment before the conduct of cloud seeding operations by concerned DA operating units and national agencies, and adoption of drought-resistant crop varieties during El Niño.

Most global climate models suggest that El Niño will "likely persist" until May, with a transition to El Niño and the Southern Oscillation-neutral June this year.

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