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Philippines - 400 NegOcc rice farmers report losses

Some 400 rice farmers in Negros Occidental have filed notices of loss to avail themselves of insurance claims after their farms were affected by the prevailing dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.

Dina Genzola, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), said farmers enrolled under the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance (NFUCIP) are advised to immediately file notices of loss once their crops are damaged by calamities.

Genzola said provision of indemnity claims is one of the mitigating measures of the Provincial Government, through OPA, to allay the possible adverse effects of dry spell as well as pest and diseases to farmers.

“The number of farmers who will be filing their notices of loss is expected to increase as dry weather continues to affect agricultural areas in the province,” she added.

OPA earlier reported an initial crop damage worth almost P16 million due to the ongoing dry spell.

The figure covers 408.53 hectares of rice farms affecting 445 farmers in five local government units.

This is on top of the P12 million worth of production losses brought by pest infestation particularly black bugs and rice grain bugs.

Moreover, the NFUCIP is an initiative of the Provincial Government in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. It was implemented in 2011.

Based on the modified guidelines of the program, the enrollment premium per cropping season remains at P840 but the whole amount will now be shouldered by the Provincial Government as a loan.

In the previous coverage, only P500 is being shouldered by the Province while the remaining P340 is the counterpart of the farmer-enrollees.

Through the NFUCIP, farmers may avail themselves of the P17,000 claim per hectare of damaged farms.

OPA earlier stressed that enrollees should apply for insurance before planting. Farms covered by the program are those planted for not less than 25 days.

Genzola said that upon the filing of notice of loss, adjusters will then evaluate the farms reportedly affected by dry spell.

Genzola said the amount of claims will be determined within a month, as well as the approval.

”Aside from lessening crop losses, indemnity claims may also be utilized by affected farmers as fund to start new production in the next cropping season,” she reiterated.

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