El Niño damage rises to P4.77B
The damage to Philippine farms went up further to P4.77 billion as more food producers reported losses during the past two months when the El Niño was at its peak.
Agriculture Undersecretary Emerson U. Palad, chief of the DA’s field operations services, said in a briefing that the phenomenon’s toll on the sector in January and February alone was P1.34 billion.
“This involves a total of 54,619 farmers working on 76,593 hectares of farms and lost 125,133 tons of produce,” Palad said.
Of the total area affected so far this year, crops in 31,349 hectares were considered having a chance of recovery.
Palad added that close to two-thirds of total damage value incurred in the past two months—which represented the planting period for this year’s dry season crop—were P864.37 million worth of palay.
Also, insufficient rainfall claimed P477.48 million of corn and P2.1 million worth of high-value crops, including various vegetables.
Sustaining the biggest amounts of damage were Northern Mindanao where 12,350 farmers lost P358.4 million worth of crops and Western Visayas with P356.6 million.
In terms of population, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reported the most number of affected farmers at 16,347 incurring losses of P214.6 million.
Even with the past two months accounting for 28 percent of total farm damage from the ongoing El Niño, Palad reiterated the DA’s pronouncement that damage was “minimal.”
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