DA-6 awaits list of El Niño-affected farmers
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas has yet to receive the list of rice farmers in the region affected by the recent El Niño phenomenon for it to fully distribute its allocated seeds, its top official said.
Remelyn Recoter, regional director of Dawestern Visayas, said the distribution of certified and hybrid rice seeds is one of their interventions to lessen the adverse effects of the calamity to the local farmers.
Recoter said the agency has prepared 200,000 bags of rice seeds, which are on top of the 30,000 bags as buffer stocks in times of calamities like drought.
The buffer stocks are 10 percent of the region’s total rice planted areas of about 300,000 hectares.
“Part of the allocated seeds were already distributed, some are already prepositioned as we are still waiting for all local government units (LGUS) to submit the masterlist,” she said.
LGUS in the region, Recoter added, have submitted the areas damaged by the calamity but the agency still needs the names of the affected farmers.
Da-region 6 reported that El Niño phenomen, particularly during the first half of the year, has brought about P1 billion worth losses to the region’s agriculture sector.
Bulk of the amount was incurred by the rice sector. In terms of area, Iloilo was noted to have the biggest amount of losses.
Aside from El Niño, the recent typhoons enhancing the Southwest Monsoon or “habagat” have also resulted in damage and production losses to the region’s rice sector.
Though, the agency said it is still minimal.
Recoter earlier said the regional line agency remains optimistic to achieve its rice yield target of five metric tons per hectare amid calamities that hit the region this year.
“We’re now at four metric tons per hectare. Hopefully, we could increase by five metric tons through provision of high yielding varieties,” the regional director added.*