Agriculture sector loses P5 billion from El Niño damages
Rice and corn are the most affected commodities
As of April 2, the damages and losses incurred from El Niño have reached P5.05 billion, according to the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Operators Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The drought has claimed 177,743 hectares of agricultural land, with 276,568 metric tons in product losses, most of which were rice and corn. According to DDRM, 164,672 farmers throughout the country have been affected by the ongoing El Niño.
LOSSES IN RICE AND CORN
Product loss in rice has reached P2.69 billion from the loss of 125,590 metric tons of rice. 111,851 hectares and 108,845 farmers from 37 provinces have been affected.
Camarines Sur rice farmers were the most affected, with over P500 million in losses. Cagayan and Occidental Mindoro followed closely after, with P487 million and P262 million in losses, respectively.
Meanwhile, corn production has lost 150,978 metric tons of corn worth P2.36 billion. 65,892 hectares and 55,827 farmers from 17 provinces have been affected.
Corn farmers from Ifugao, Isabela, and Apayao incurred the most losses, at P466 million, P452 million, and P394 million, respectively.
The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has allotted P96 million in financial assistance through the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program to aid 3,835 farmers.
The following areas have been declared to be under a State of Calamity due to El Niño: Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato, Maguindanao, and Negros Occidental.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has paid P43 million of insurance to 3,535 farmers.
Cloud seeding operations (a human method of weather modification) are also underway, with the assistance of Reserved Forces Officers and the Philippine Air Force.
DRRM is also planning to propose a seed reserve for rice and corn seeds in case of similar situations in the near future.
SPORADIC INCREASE IN DAMAGES
- Just last month on Mar. 11, the damages incurred by El Niño were at P464 million, according to DA DRRM Operations Center.
In less than one month, the damages and losses have jumped from P464 million to P5.05 billion. This is a 1088 percent increase within the span of 21 days.
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