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Philippines - NegOcc rice farmers incur P7.1M in crop losses

Rice farmers in three localities in southern Negros Occidental incurred losses amounting to PHP7.177 million due to torrential rains and flooding brought about by Tropical Storm Falcon this week.

A report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) on Thursday showed that 846 farmers situated in 40 villages of Bago City, Valladolid, and San Enrique towns in the fourth district have been affected.

Damage and losses were reported in 1,092 hectares of rice fields.

In Bago City, considered as the rice bowl of Negros Occidental for its vast rice plantations, 413 farmers reported PHP2.979 million in losses. A total of 416 hectares in 19 villages were affected.

There were 279 farmers affected in Valladolid, incurring PHP2.622 million in losses. Areas affected reached 399.5 hectares planted in 14 barangays.

In San Enrique, a total of 154 farmers suffered losses amounting to PHP1.576 million in 276.56 hectares of planted areas.

Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said that as monsoon rains enhanced by the storm continue to affect cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental, the amount of damage and losses could still increase.

Personnel of the OPA are still conducting monitoring, assessment and field validation, he added.

The OPA has been urging local farmers to insure their crops to lessen the adverse effects of calamities like typhoons.

Under the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program (NFUCIP), farmers may avail themselves of the PHP17,000 claim per hectare of damaged farms.

The NFUCIP is an initiative of the provincial government, in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), which began in 2011.

Under the modified guidelines, enrollment premium per cropping season remains at PHP840, but the whole amount will now be shouldered by the provincial government as a loan.

Enrollees should apply for insurance before planting. Farms covered by the program are those planted for not less than 25 days.

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