The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday reported that the “weak” El Niño currently affecting the country has already brought about some P1.33 billion in damages to crops.
DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency, said an estimated volume production loss of 78,348 metric tons (MT) was recorded from 70,353 hectares planted to palay and corn all over the country. The total number of farmers affected were 84,932.
For rice alone, Cayanan said the volume production loss was placed at 41,003 MT valued at PHP814.4 million planted to 54,924 hectares. The total number of farmers affected were 69,889 in 28 provinces nationwide.
On the other hand, damage to corn was placed at PHP512.31 million,which is
equivalent to 37,345 MT in volume production. Areas affected were 15,043 hectares and involved 15,043 farmers in 13 corn producing provinces.
At present, Cayanan said a total of PHP18.3 million has been released by the DA for cloud seeding operations and water pumps, power sprayers, and shallow tube wells were also being distributed to farmers affected by the El Niño.
He said cloud seeding operations have already started on March 19 in Regions 2, 11, and 12 using the Philippine Air Force (PAF NOMAD aircraft.
The areas affected by the El Niño were the Cordillera Administrative Region (Ifugao, Kalinga), Ilocos Region (Pangasinan), Cagayan Valley (Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino), Central Luzon (Bulacan), Calabarzon (Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal), Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro), Bicol Region (Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate), Western Visayas (Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental), Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Samar), Zamboanga Peninsula (Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte), Northern Mindanao (Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental), Davao Region (Davao del Sur), Soccsksargen (Cotabato), and BARMM (Maguindanao). (PNA)