Flood damage to crops in Laguna totals P410MBy Romulo O. Ponte
Inquirer Southern Luzon
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—The southwest monsoon rains (Habagat) which spawned flooding that submerged low-lying villages in 19 towns and cities in Laguna province destroyed P410.3 million worth of agriculture products.
The damaged crops were planted in about 11,000 hectares of inundated farmlands, planted with rice, corn and crops, and affected some 6,000 farmers, according to a report released on Wednesday by Juanito T. Samson, officer in charge of the Office of the Agriculturist (OPA) in Laguna.
The OPA damage assessment reports said that as of Aug. 28, the loss in rice production amounted to 28,444 metric tons, valued at P377,541,255, involving 10,203.99 ha of planted land area and affecting 5,144 farmers.
The damage to corn production has amounted to P6,091,250, involving 151.8 ha and affecting 174 farmers.
The crop damage, including those destroyed by Typhoon “Gener,” which came shortly before the Habagat-induced floods, or for a period from July 28 to Aug. 8, amounted to P26,702,750, affecting 1,109 farmers and covering 497 ha of lands planted to vegetables, root crops, fruit-bearing trees like rambutan and banana.
The Laguna agriculturist’s report said the areas still submerged under water were low-lying villages of the towns of Sta. Maria, Mabitac, Siniloan, Pangil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan, Lumban, Pagsanjan, Sta. Cruz, Pila, Victoria, Los Baños, Bay and San Pedro; and the cities of Cabuyao, Calamba, Sta. Rosa and Biñan.
Rex Palacol, OPA’s administrative officer, told the Inquirer that the Habagat flooding also inundated their newly planted experimental rice farm, exacerbated by the presence of the snail pests (Golden Kuhol) that feed on developing stems and leaves of the plants.
The total land area of the experimental farm, including their office areas, damaged by the flood was 7 ha located in Barangay Calios in Sta. Cruz town, he said.
Fortunately, the nursery where seedlings of mango, rambutan and other fruit trees are ready for distribution to qualified farmers has not been affected.
Palacol added that the OPA is providing tilapia fingerlings to interested fishpond raisers at minimal cost.