Dry spell destroys P91.9-M agri products in Zambo City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – The dry spell has taken its toll on the agriculture sector in the city, destroying some P91.9M worth of farm products as of Wednesday, March 18, the Office of the City Agriculture said

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported to Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar that a total of 8,469.2 hectares of land planted to various crops and fishery products have been destroyed by the dry spell, affecting 20,996 metric tons of products.

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

Palacat said that at least 1,041.8 of the 8,469.2 hectares affected have no chance of recovery.

Palacat expressed fears the damage could worsen and consequently affect this city’s agricultural supply if rains will not come by the month of May.

Palacat has recommended various action plans to help mitigate the effect of the dry spell on farmers such as the immediate conduct of cloud seeding to be jointly undertaken between the Department of Agriculture, Zamboanga City Water District and the local government.

Palacat said the other action plans 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; and, procurement and distribution of organic fertilizers.

He proposed the rehabilitation of pumps and water system of existing demo farm, procurement of breeder stocks, information dissemination and procurement and distribution of organic fertilizers for the fishery sector. (MindaNews)