ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 22 April) – The City Agriculturist disclosed that the damage to agricultural and fishery products due to the prolonged dry spell had further soared to P140.8 million as of April 8.
As of March 31, damage was estimated at P132.54 million.
City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat disclosed that so far 10,270 hectares of agricultural lands and fishponds were damaged.
He disclosed that 8,458.3 of the 10,270 hectares (82.4 percent) still have chances of recovery while the rest have none.
Palacat said the crops affected include rice, banana, assorted vegetables, rubber, cassava, corn, and even mango and coconut trees, aside from the fishponds.
He said the destruction was not only caused by the dry spell but also by the increasing number of grass fire incidents in rural areas.
The damage, he said, is widespread, covering the different agricultural districts of Tumaga, Ayala, Culianan, Manicahan, Curuan and Vitali.
He said they are continuously monitoring the water levels of the different irrigation systems in the city.
Earlier, Palacat’s office monitored that nine of the total 25 irrigation dams have dried up, six are in critical condition while 10 are below the normal water level.