DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 March) — The dry spell can potentially result to P304 million worth of damages to corn and rice in the region, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
Based on the department’s data as of Monday, Remelyn R. Recoter, regional director of DA XI, said the El Niño phenomenon already affected 15,000 hectares of rice and 12,192 hectares of corn.
The department began to monitor the impact of the long drought since the state weather bureau issued an advisory in December last year.
“Majority of those that are affected are still on seedling and vegetative stages,” Recoter said.
She said the department is presently assessing whether there are partially or totally damaged crops.
“The dry spell could potentially result to P147 million worth of damages to corn and P157 million worth
of damages to rice,” she said.
Citing the projection made by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), she said the El Niño phenomenon is expected to last until July. Below normal rainfall was projected to hit areas like Gov. Generoso in Davao Oriental and some areas in Davao del Sur.
“But with the incoming Typhoon ‘Chedeng,’ we hope that the areas affected by El Niño will recover,” she said.
Pagasa said in its advisory as of 11 am Wednesday, the typhoon is “expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility between tonight until tomorrow morning.”
In case there are partially or totally damaged crops, the DA XI said it has buffer stocks of seedlings on rice, corn and vegetables for distribution to the affected farmers.
In Davao City alone, City Agriculturist Rocelio T. Tabay said earlier that the dry spell could potentially damage about 7,000 hectares of crops especially in the farm lands at Paquibato, Marilog, Toril, Tugbok and Baguio Districts.
This, Tabay said, could affect 11,151 farmers.
To mitigate the impact of the dry spell, the City Agriculturist’s Office requested DA XI for a cloud seeding. Its proposal was still being evaluated by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management. (MindaNews)