Tungro destroys rice fields in Asturias
A state of calamity has been declared in two barangays in Asturias town due to a disease affecting their rice crop.
Asturias Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor said that ricefields in Barangays Bago and Lunas, which are rice producing barangays have been infected by Rice Tungro Disease (RTD) .
“Amo nalang gi-declare og calamity kay aron among kuhaon ang harvest niya (We have to declare it under state of calamity so we could pull out their harvest),” he said in a phone interview.
“Ang kining sakita magbalhin-balhin ni (This kind of disease is infectious),” he added.
Municipal Agriculturist Jade Mesias said there is already an outbreak of the diseases in the two barangays which have resulted to stunted growth and yellow to orange leaf discoloration and few reproductive tillers where the grains grow.
“Kon grabe gyod ang epekto sa kagaw kay mamatay gyod ang tanom (The virus really kills the plant),” Mesias said.
Mesias said a green leaf hopper is the carrier of the virus.
He said 78.49 percent of the total rice producing area in Barangay Lunas, or 33 of the total 43 hectares are severely damaged.
While one hundred percent of the rice fields in Barangay Bago covering 20.75 hectares are infected by the RTD.
There are at least 66 farmers affected by the loss and destruction of their crops. They are now in need of food as their crops have been destroyed.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Asturias passed a resolution last May 9, declaring a state of calamity in the two barangays.
The resolution authored by Councilor Augustus Kiamko, also authorized the release of calamity funds to assist the farmers and to treat the rice fields.
Mesias said the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) will furnish the municipal government with a copy of the result of their assessment to determine the cost of the damaged crops.
Pintor said he was assured that the provincial government would also extend assistance if the town’s calamity funds will not be enough.
“Magsabot pa unsay balanse og dili makaya namo kay motabang ang province (We still have to discuss the balance. If we cannot do it alone, the province is willing to help us),” Pintor said.
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