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Agri damage due to El Niño rises to P5.05B — Agriculture Dept.

By TED CORDERO,GMA News

Agricultural losses brought by the El Niño phenomenon hit P5.05 billion, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Operations Center said Tuesday.

In its latest agricultural damages bulletin, the DA DRRM Operations Center said that the damage to the crops sector has already risen from the previously reported P4.35-billion worth of damage.

Drought and dry spell destroyed an estimated volume of 276,568 metric tons (MT) of rice and corn from 233,007 MT recorded on March 31. Damaged agricultural lands also widened to 177,743 hectares affecting 164,672 farmers, from 149,914 hectares and 138,859 farmers.

For rice sector alone, the damage stood at P2.69 billion with 125,590 MT volume production loss, 111,851 hectares, and 108,845 farmers affected affected in a total of 37 provinces across the country.

For corn, the losses were estimated at P2.36 billion with 150,978 MT volume production loss, 65,892 hectares, and 55,827 farmers affected in 17 provinces.

Affected regions and their corresponding provinces are the following:

  • Cordillera Administrative Region: Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province
  • Ilocos Region: Pangasinan
  • Cagayan Valley: Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino
  • Central luzon: Bulacan
  • CALABARZON: Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon
  • MIMAROPA: Occidental Mindoro
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  • Bicol Region: Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate
  • Western Visayas: Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental
  • Eastern Visayas: Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar
  • Zamboanga Peninsula: Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte
  • Northern Mindanao: Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental
  • Davao Region: Davao del Sur
  • SOCSKSARGEN: Cotabato
  • BARMM: Lanao del Sur, Maqguindanao

The DA DRRM Operations Center said a total of P95.875 million financial assistance from  Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) was allotted under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program that will benefit 3,835 affected farmers.

"The processing of documents for areas declared under State of Calamity due to El Niño (Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato, Maguindanao, Negros Occidental) are ongoing," it said.

Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. also paid P43.083 million of insurance to 3,534 affected farmers on provinces in Regions I, III, IVA, VI and X.

Further, an amount of P18.3M was released for cloud seeding operations to RFOs (Regional Field Offices) and Philippines Air Force.

"A minimum area of 23,293 ha have been saved due to the 7,700 units of pump and engine sets distributed between 2017 and 2018 with an equivalent production volume of 90,100 metric tons of palay amounting to P1.53 billion," the DA DRRM Operations Center said. — RSJ, GMA News