El Niño damage to crops soars to P17.7 million PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 February 2016 12:11

By Sheila Covarrubias

At least 860 hectares of land planted with rice, corn and assorted vegetables have withered as of February 5 due to the prolonged dry spell that hit the city since late part of 2015 translating damages to P17.7 million.

Of the total damaged area, 776.24 hectares are with no chance of recovery. Number of farmers affected has now reached the 947 mark.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said rice fields are hard hit by the drought with over 500 hectares ruined, followed by cornfields with over 220 hectares damaged.

The other areas affected by the prolonged dry spell were planted with assorted vegetables, banana, cassava, camote, papaya, peanut, ginger, eggplant, mungbean and squash.

Palacat’s office continues to monitor the situation on the field and provides the needed assistance and support to the affected farmers.

One measure implemented is the planting of alternate crops that withstand during dry season.

Meanwhile, the cloud seeding operations to be conducted by the PAG-ASA DOST is set to start Feb. 15-28.

Japanese scientists said the El Niño phenomenon has decreased and is expected to end in the summer months.— Sheila Covarrubias