El Niño damage to agriculture now tops P460 million

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  • The agriculture sector already incurred as much as P464.2 million worth of damages and losses due to drought being experienced in some parts of the country.

    The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Field Programs Operational Planning Division report showed that the weak El Niño the country is experiencing right now has so far damaged as much as P464.27 million worth of agriculture products.

    Right now, production loss stands at 22,918 metric tons (MT), while affected area is around 13,679 hectares, affecting 16,034 farmers and fisherfolks.

    Affected regions are MIMAROPA, Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga del Sur, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Maguindanao.

    The Philippine, Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has released an advisory last week which indicated a weak El Niño and below normal rainfall in the coming months.
    Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and Philippine Air Force in Regions II, MIMAROPA, VII, and XII already conducted Joint Area Assessment for pre-cloud seeding operations. The conduct of cloud seeding operations was recommended in Regions II and XII, which are scheduled between March 14 to May 21, 2019.

    Right now, DA is currently monitoring water quantity and quality (fisheries) in vulnerable areas, while it already prepositioned seed reserves for rice and corn.

    The agency’s Philippine Crop insurance Corp. (PCIC) was likewise instructed to immediately release crop insurance payments to insured farmlands that will cover up to 100 percent of damage.

    (M.B. Miraflor, mb.com)

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