Almost 2,000 farmers are affected by El Nino in Negros Occidental.

Almost 2,000 farmers now affected by drought in Negros Occidental

DIFFERENT SITUATION The once-abundant rice fields in Negros Occidental, like this one in Cauayan town last year, are now suffering from the dry spell. —RONNIE BALDONADO

DIFFERENT SITUATION The once-abundant rice fields in Negros Occidental, like this one in Cauayan town last year, are now suffering from the dry spell. FILE PHOTO/RONNIE BALDONADO

BACOLOD CITY — At least 1,963 farmers in southern Negros Occidental are reeling from the effects of the prolonged drought, which damaged about P77.7 million worth of rice and corn crops in mostly rain-fed farms.

Damage to rice crops was pegged at P77,544,981 and P157,852 to corn as of March 1, said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday, March 4.


The governor said the drought had not affected rice crops in areas covered by the Bago River Irrigation System.. The BRIS in Bago, a city located about 30 km southeast of the capital Bacolod City, is a run-off irrigation system with Bago River as source.


READ: Drought gripping Negros Occidental, says Pagasa

Lacson said farmers in rain-fed areas had been warned that they would not have a good crop because of El Niño, but they took a chance and were suffering now.

He said the Department of Agriculture had sent two Bureau of Soil and Water Management engineers to the province after he requested cloud seeding to induce rain and mitigate the drought damage.

The engineers were expected to stay in Negros Occidental for three days. Their initial findings showed that the potential clouds for seeding were located in northern Negros Occidental.

READ: Calamity state likely in Negros Occidental town if El Nino persists

“Unfortunately the damage is in the south,” Lacson said. “They are still going around the province and hopefully next week, they will have a recommendation,” he added.


The governor said that if the engineers assessed that cloud seeding was viable, it would take another month before procurement of needed materials could start.

The latest report submitted by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to Lacson showed that the P77.7 in crop damage affected 1,676 hectares in 78 barangays in 11 municipalities in the province.

READ: Drought may hit 30 areas in March due to El Niño – Pagasa

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Most rice damage was in Kabankalan City at P41,726,761.20, followed by Cauayan town, P14,001,540; Ilog, P7,487,370.24; Himamaylan City, P3,732,556.92; Valladolid, P3,397,598.72; Hinoba-an, P2,525,595.60; Hinigaran, P1,751,055.20; Sipalay City, P1,623,445.63; Binalbagan, P513,360; Moises Padilla, P 450,897; and Isabela, P334,800.
Damage to corn in Sipalay City was P157,852.80.

TAGS: El Niño drought, Negros Occidental

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