Nearly P8 billion worth of agri yields lost to El Niño – DA
MANILA, Philippines — The El Niño phenomenon has so far damaged close to P8 billion worth of crops and fisheries yields, and affected 247,610 farmers and 227,889 hectares of land across the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported Wednesday.
According to DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, total production loss in the rice sector has reached P4.04 billion, affecting over 140,000 farmers and over 140,000 hectares of land.
Damage and losses were also reported in the corn industry where total production loss has reached P3.89 billion, affecting over 105,000 farmers and over 133,000 hectares of land, he added.
“So easily, you will identify that the staple food – I’m referring to rice and corn – rice as our staple food and corn being the food and the feed crop ay malaki po ang naging epekto,” Cayanan said at the weekly economic briefing in Malacañang.
El Niño likewise affected high-value crops and fisheries, the DA said.
Specifically, Cayanan said, production loss in high-value crops and fisheries has reached P27.8 million and P12.4 million, respectively.
“Doon sa assorted vegetable po natin na naapektuhan were the following: squash, sitaw, eggplant, pechay, ampalaya, upo, tomato, sweet potato, okra, hot pepper, mung bean, onion, garlic, snap and beans. Ano po ang common denominator? These are considered to be the cash crop. Ito po ang cash crop natin,” Cayanan noted.
“Sa fisheries po, sa pangisdaan, ang damaged produce includes: tilapia, bangus, malaga, seaweed, oyster, prawn; crab in Ilocos Norte, La Union, Zamboanga, Lanao Del Norte, and Misamis Oriental,” he also said.
According to Cayanan, the government thru the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program or SURE has allowed P95.875 million financial assistance that would benefit 3,835 farmers affected by El Niño.
The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation has also paid P632.674 million-worth of insurance to over 79,000 affected farmers, Cayanan said.
In the same press briefing, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the start of the rainy season may be declared in the first half of June.
The latest El Niño phenomenon hitting the country started in October 2018. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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