The unusual weather condition in the past three days has damaged more than PHP5-million (€85,500) worth of banana plants in at least 15 of 40 villages there. Marisa Aton, acting city agriculturist, said farmers from the affected villages reported that strong winds, accompanied by a heavy downpour, that have hit the city since Wednesday, have destroyed ready-to-harvest bananas.
The El Niño has already damaged P43.970 million worth of crops and livestock in Cebu Province, the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported. Rhee Telen, local DRRM officer II, said that Compostela town recorded the highest damage in crops, affecting around 112.1 hectares of farmlands from seven barangays.
Resentment is brewing as Philippine govt fails yet again to address the plight of growers. It has been three years since the shooting of protesting farmers by policemen in the southern Philippine province of Cotabato.The farmers were demanding 15,000 sacks of rice and the immediate release of disaster funds to address an ongoing drought brought about by the El Nino phenomenon.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) expanded its estimate for El Niño crop damage, mainly to rice and corn, to P4.35 billion as of March 31, from P1.33 billion on March 19. On Sunday, the DA said in a report that the damage covers lost output of 233,007 MT, affecting 149,494 hectares and 138,859 farmers and fisherfolk.
El Niño-hit towns of Davao del Sur lost at least PHP161.2 million worth of rice and corn crops, affecting close to 4,000 farmers since the severe drought hit the province late last year. Rice farms totaling 3,657 hectares suffered PHP155.6 million worth of losses. Damage to some 321 hectares of corn fields is placed at PHP5.5 million.
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.
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.
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