Damage climbs to P14-M; OPA data: El Niño affects 43 villages in 11 NegOcc LGUs

Posted by watchmen
February 15, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The damage to crops caused by the El Niño phenomenon in Negros Occidental has now climbed to P14.4 million, based on the latest data provided by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday.

Lacson said a total of 369.11 hectares of rice fields and 383 farmers in 43 villages across 11 local government units in the province are now affected by the dry spell.

Cauayan town is the most affected so far, with damage pegged at almost P7.7 million, followed by Hinoba-an town with P2.4 million worth of damage.

Most of the affected areas are rice fields or farmlands that rely on rainfall instead of irrigation.

Lacson said he has already talked with Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas Director Dennis Arpia.

Arpia informed him that he is now consulting with his team regarding a proposal to begin cloud seeding operations in the province.

“Hopefully, we can hear some good news next week,” Lacson said.

However, Lacson emphasized that cloud seeding is not a 100-percent solution to the dry spell.

Arpia warned the governor that cloud seeding may even bring more damage than good.

Earlier, OPA officer-in-charge Dr. Dina Genzola emphasized that the affected rice fields are either in the vegetative or harvestable stage, with the parched land showing visible signs of distress, leading to the demise of the rice crops.

The OPA continues to encourage farmers to enroll in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and the provincial government’s crop insurance initiative.

The state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Negros Occidental, including its capital Bacolod City, will continue to experience drought conditions until May of this year.

Pagasa defined drought as three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall conditions./DGB, WDJ



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *