Isabela farmers lose P1B in crops
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela—A P1-billion crop loss due to a persistent dry spell during the monsoon season has prompted the Isabela provincial board to declare a state of calamity in the province.
Acting Vice Governor Faustino Dy IV said the board issued the declaration on Thursday (Sept. 22) to access funds for drought-stricken farmers, at the request of Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III.
Except for sporadic downpour, rains have not been felt in huge volumes here from June to September.
Weather forecasters expected up to 200 millimeters of rainfall in Isabela this month, but the actual rainfall volume from Sept. 1 to 20 ranged only from 51 mm to 100 mm, according to Ramil Tuppil, Echague satellite office forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
Corn and palay farmers were forced to suffer an average of P10,000 per hectare in production losses.
Provincial agriculturist Danilo Tumamao said his office has asked for P200 million to be spent on the fuel and corn seed requirements of affected farmers.
Delmar Agcaoili, a corn farmer in Antagan II village in Tumauini town, said farmers here are hoping that aid would come in time for the next cropping season in January 2017.
Other parts of Luzon, however, are experiencing bumper harvest of rice as a result of heavy rain in the past.
Despite the intense heat and drought hurting parts of the country, Central Luzon is likely to harvest as much as 1.2 million metric tons of palay at the end of the dry season this month due to water dumped by two typhoons last year, a Department of Agriculture official said recently in Pampanga.
The anticipated yield from 180,944 ha in the region could surpass the 1.14-million MT harvest for the same season last year, Crispulo Bautista, DA assistant regional director, said, citing field reports.
The top palay-producing provinces are Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Bulacan, he said.
Irrigation was adequately supplied by the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija and Angat Dam in Bulacan, when their reservoirs were filled by rains triggered by Typhoons “Lando” (international name: Koppu) in October and “Nona” (international name: Melor) in December last year, he said.
The dams supported more than 30,000 ha of farms in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Pampanga.
The Department of Agriculture had distributed more than 400,000 irrigation pumps. It helped expand planting on 1,000 ha of farms in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Aurora through shallow wells. Villamor Visayas, Inquirer Northern Luzon with Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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