El Niño’s heat hurts coffee, corn in Tuburan

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |April 21,2019 - 02:50 PM

The weak El Niño is starting to affect the farmlands in Central Visayas, including some areas in Cebu. | photo from Cebu.gov.ph

CEBU, Philippines — The plantation of coffee in Tuburan town, 92 kilometers northwest of Cebu City, has not escaped from  the effects of the weak El Niño looming in the province and the entire country.

Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante said the coffee plants and other crops produced by the town’s agriculture sector has suffered from the heat in the past months. Diamante said Tuburan’s Sangguniang Bayan (SB) has already declared a state of calamity in the first week of April.

“We have declared a state of calamity two weeks ago. Naa man gihapon mi tubig sa mga kabalayan pero apektado gyud ang halos tanan mamong mga crops labi na ang among kape,” Diamante told CDN Digital.

(We have declared a state of calamity two weeks ago. We still have water in our houses but our crops especially our coffee have been the most affected.)

According to the April 12 Situation Report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), three barangays have been gravely affected by the weak El Niño with one barangay projecting 90 percent reduction in corn harvest.

The Tuburan DRRM office has P2.7 million available quick response fund, which will be used for the intervention efforts in the affected barangays.

Diamante said the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) has already committed to help them in their water response efforts to the farms.

“Naa na mi mga baril ug mga hose. Pasalamat sad mi kay ang NIA nitabang man sad namo [in terms of the bringing water supply to farms],” said Diamante.

PDRRMO is also now in the process of procuring about P29 million worth of response items including water catchment and storage facilities for farmers and affected communities, veterinary and agricultural supplies to save the remaining crops and livestock in affected towns.

Read more: Province to purchase P29M worth of response items for El Niño-affected areas

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) has placed the entire province under a state of calamity during their regular session on March 25. The PDRRMO has a P59 million quick response fund which will be used for the response efforts in the affected communities, including food for work and cash for work programs.

Read more: With El Niño here, PDRRMO urges Gov. Davide to place province under state of calamity

Read more: El Niño Phenomenon: Cebu province under state of calamity

Aside from Tuburan, 10 other municipalities have already declared a state of calamity due to the effects of the dry spell. These are the cities of Carcar, Toledo, and Talisay; and the municipalities of Ginatilan, Minglanilla, Samboan, Sogod, Tudela, Dumanjug and Alcoy.

Seven other LGUs namely Santa Fe, Asturias, Pilar, Compostela, San Fernando, Bogo City and Borbon, are still waiting for a regular session in order to officially declare a state of calamity./dbs

Read more: 10 Cebu LGUs in state of calamity

Read more: DA-7 has P35M standby fund to mitigate El Niño’s effect in agri sector

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