cdn mobile

Central Visayas suffers P1.7B loss in agriculture due to El Niño

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 18,2024 - 08:36 PM

el niño agriculture

Leo Udtohan/Inquirer Visayas

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Central Visayas suffered an estimated P1.7 billion loss in the agricultural sector due to the impact of El Niño phenomenon, according to an official from the Department of Agriculture here (DA-7).

The El Niño phenomenon has damaged the high value crops, rice and corn crops; and even the livestock owners were not spared from its impact, said Gerry Avila, DA-7 chief of the Field Operations Division, in an interview on Tuesday.

The damage of the rice crops reached around P139 million, corn crops around P105 million loss, and the livestock was around P1.2 million.

The high value crops suffered the largest loss with P1.5 billion.

READ: Extreme drought hits Cebu City: Farmer decides ‘free harvest’ for tomatoes

Data still initial, validation in progress

Avila clarified that the data he presented were only “initial” as they are still in the process of validating the information from each province in the region.

As of press time, Avila said that DA-7 is already fast tracking the validation of the damages incurred from El Niño, covering the months of February to June. The purpose of validation is to identify and determine the status of the crops that were damaged.

He said that there is a “possibility” that the amount would decrease depending on the result because there were areas that suffered “50 percent” or “75 percent damage.” In their “initial data,” they declared a “100 percent” damage loss.

“So, pag tinitingnan mo [may] 25 percent pala pwede pa maka-recover, so that can be a reduction into the losses,” Avila said.

ALSO READ: El Niño causes P4 billion agriculture losses

Avila could not yet provide the breakdown of loss in each province in the region, but he said that Cebu and Bohol are the provinces that had a huge damage in crops.

To validate the loss, Avila said that they have agriculture staff in the different provinces covering Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

“We are trying to validate because P1.7 [billion] is just [the] initial data… Our regional staff will also [conduct] a direct site visit. We’ll try to look at especially those big areas to ensure really na kung ano ‘yung naisulat (data) doon, ay talagang totoo,” he added.

When asked if this year’s damage is bigger compared to last year, Avila was unable to provide the data but he emphasized that last year, the region only experienced the “mild” effects of El Niño unlike this year.

Assistance for affected farmers

In Cebu, Avila said that Cebu City (mountain barangays), and Dalaguete which was dubbed as the ‘vegetable basket of Cebu,’ are the local government units (LGUs) that experienced a huge loss in vegetable crops.

Avila said that it could be the reason for the increase in prices of some crops.

Furthermore, the DA officer said that they are looking forward that the production in the agriculture sector will “get back to normal” three to four months from now “granting that we will have a normal rainfall.”

To help the farmers recover from the impact of the El Niño, he said that they distribute buffer seeds and fertilizers, especially now that the planting season for rice and corn has started.

Planting for the wet season is scheduled between June and October.

They also started providing planting materials to the vegetable farmers across the region, in coordination with various LGUs.

Aside from DA, Avila said that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) will also provide insurance to the farmers “so that they will be able to replant.”

Although he is not sure if all farmers in the region are insured under PCIC, he hopes that DA will be able to get data on how much the PCIC will support the farmers affected.

The El Niño phenomenon officially ended on June 4, based on the advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Land area

According to the data presented by DA-7 OIC Regional Executive Director Cirilo Namoc on Tuesday in a news forum hosted by the national government’s media arm, the total land of Central Visayas currently stands at 1,499,940 hectares.

Of the number, 925,051 hectares are considered forest, timberland, and buildup areas; while the remaining 524,889 hectares are considered agricultural land.

Negros Oriental has a total of 228,883 hectares; Cebu 146,056; Bohol 136,613; and Siquijor 13,337.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: agriculture, El Niño phenomenon

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.