Bacolod: Damage to agricultural crops in province now P.5B

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – The havoc created by the ongoing drought on Negros Occidental continues, as the value of the damage to agricultural crops has been reported at more than P502 million, according to the Sugar Regulatory Administration and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

The SRA reported damage of P215,700,114 to sugarcane crops and molasses in Negros Occidental, while the damage rice and corn crops was valued at P302,224,913, as of May 8, based on OPA reports.

Other provinces in Western Visayas that produce sugar also sustained damage, including P13,747,242 in Capiz, with P1,774,015 in Iloilo, according to SRA reports dated April 15.

SRA however expects the damage to increase further.

Affected are 3,283 sugar farmers, including the 2,392 farmers tilling 5,753 hectares of sugarcane produced areas in the region.

Negros Occidental sugar production supplies 60 to 65 percent of the domestic sugar consumption.

SRA head Pablo Luis Ascona disclosed that Negros Occidental is recently reported to be expecting a 30 percent drop in its standing crop output, because of the drought.

As of May 8, the OPA reports indicate that rice crops were the hardest hit in Negros Occidental, with damage estimated at P291,747,976.57, corn at P7,809,894.76, and fisheries at P2,667,042.

Dina Genzola, OIC provincial agriculturist, reported that the drought also hit 5,864 hectares of rice lands in 216 barangays in 28 of the 31 LGUs in Negros Occidental, and has affected 8,285 farmers.

Three local government units in Negros Occidental, namely the cities of San Carlos, Kabankalan and municipality of San Enrique, have placed their respective areas under a state of calamity, in order to use their calamity funds to help affected farmers. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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