Bacolod City – The damage to rice crops in Negros Occidental, brought about by the El Nino phenomenon, further increased to P12. 8 million, according to a report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
The weather phenomenon is now being experienced by 373 farmers in 36 barangays of Himamaylan and Sipalay cities, Isabela, Cauayan, Binalbagan, Hinobaan, Moises Padilla, and Cauayan.
Acting Provincial Agriculturist Dina Gensola disclosed recently that the dry spell damaged 346 hectares of rice lands that are either rain fed or irrigated.
Gensola said that no rain was monitored in southern Negros cities and municipalities.
However, heavy, moderate, and light rains at 20 other local government units have balanced out the temperature, she added.
Gensola advised the affected rice farmers to start processing their insurance claims.
The affected rice fields were reported as either in vegetative stage or ready for harvest.
With this development, the provincial government of Negros Occidental has started maximizing water availability for irrigated lands.
Sixty percent of rice land in Negros Occidental is irrigated, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson had disclosed earlier.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is also identifying impounding areas for water storage and putting up small pumps to boost its water supply during the drought season. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)