Damage due to dry spell reaches P91.97 million PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:35

The continuing dry spell is taking its toll on the agriculture sector, as a total of 8,469.2 hectares of land planted with various crops and fishery products have been ravaged as of May 18.

In his partial crop and fishery damage report submitted to Mayor Beng Climaco, City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat estimated the value of the damaged products to approximately P91.973 million.  In terms of volume, 20,996 metric tons of products were affected.

Of the total 8,469.2 hectares ruined, 277 hectares are planted with rice, 31 hectares planted with corn; 8,084.1 hectares planted with banana; 74.5 hectares planted with assorted vegetables; 9.3 hectares planted with cassava and .3 hectares are fishpond areas.

At least 1,041.8 hectares of the total area damaged, are with no chance of recovery.

The city agriculturist expressed apprehensions that the damage could worsen and consequently affect the city’s agricultural supply if rains will not come by May. Nevertheless, he said, the dry spell experienced in the city is a normal course as it is usually dry from January to April.

As this developed, Palacat recommended various action plans, foremost of which is the immediate conduct of cloud seeding, to help mitigate the effect of the dry spell on farmers.

The proposed cloud seeding will be a joint undertaking between the Department of Agriculture, Zamboanga City Water District and City Government.

Other action plans for agricultural crops include information dissemination, pre-mitigating measures primarily to encourage a quick turn-around planting of early maturing varieties; production and distribution of alternate crop seeds and planting materials; pest management; desiltation of communal irrigation system and river dredging procurement and distribution of organic fertilizers.

For fisheries, Palacat proposes the rehabilitation of pumps and water system of existing demo farm, procurement of breeder stocks, information dissemination and procurement/distribution of organic fertilizers. — Sheila Covarrubias