Bacolod: SRA orders sampling of canes and land post Kanlaon eruption

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Sugar Regulatory Administrator Luis Azcona has ordered the SRA research and development department to prioritize the sampling of sugar canes and land areas, in connection with the recent eruption of the Kanlaon volcano.

In a statement, Azcona said they will need information as to the acidity level of the soil, as well as its effects on canes already planted in areas where volcanic ash fall was noted.

“We gathered reports from the field of the strong sulfur smell coupled with the heavy rains in most areas in Central Negros and we know that this can turn into sulfuric acid which may affect our sugar canes,” Azcona said.

The testing will include scraping ash from cane leaves and collection from surface ground in the municipality of La Castellana, Moises Padilla, Pontevedra, and La Carlota City where volcanic ash turned some fields gray.

Azcona said they received reports that some farmers took advantage of the heavy rains following the eruption to plant canes yesterday, and asked their research department to immediately release the results of the test.

“We are hoping that the rains washed out the volcanic ash from planted canes,” he added.

The general condition of our sugar cane fields is already acidic and we just want to rule out more acidity in affected areas that can cause problems, he said.

Azcona also ordered the release of P2 million for mitigating measures to aid affected localities, and another P500,000 for medical missions that will address respiratory diseases related to the incident, if needed. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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