The two massive floods that hit Negros Occidental on Jan. 1 and 8 left some PHP45 million in damage and losses to the province’s agriculture and fisheries sector.
Data from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) showed that during the first incident, some PHP16.5 million worth of damage to agro-fishery in five localities were reported.
During the second wave, losses surged to almost PHP28.5 million, as of Thursday.
The latest figures include PHP15.28 million, the highest loss, incurred by the rice sector.
Affected were 919 rice farmers with 604 hectares area located in 42 barangays of Sagay City, Cadiz City, Manapla, Talisay City, Silay City, and Valladolid.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said although the total amount is still less than the province’s rice consumption for a day, a loss is still a loss.
In Negros Occidental, the daily rice consumption is 20,000 bags. If a bag of rice costs PHP1,800, Negrenses consume PHP36 million worth of rice daily.
The OPA report covering Jan. 8 to 11 also showed that the high-value crop sector lost PHP6.64 million.
This affected 247 farmers with combined production areas of 17.95 hectares in five barangays of cities of Escalante, Talisay, and Silay.
Also, 58 farmers in 15 barangays of Sagay City with 49.2-hectare affected areas incurred PHP1.11 million worth of losses.
In fisheries, the floods coupled with strong winds and waves struck several fishponds and damaged 46 units of fishing gear worth PHP5.44 million.
Affected were 54 fishermen from 21 barangays of the cities of Talisay, Sagay, Cadiz, and San Carlos, and the town of E.B. Magalona.
The damaged fishing gears included motorized banca, fish cage, lift net, fyke net, shallow water fish corral, and oyster raft.
Masculino said the affected farmers may receive an indemnity for their damaged farms if they have enrolled under the province’s crop insurance program in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.
“We urge farmers to file their notices of loss which is a requirement in processing their insurance claims,” he added. (Erwin Nicavera via pna, photo by pna)