DA says damage from El Niño will be negligible
The Department of Agriculture is confident that decline in production will be negligible, despite the declaration of states of calamity in several provinces affected by drought and dry spell.
The DA said from February 2015-February 2016, less than 195,000 hectares of rice and corn were reportedly affected, or 361,046 ha less than during the 2009-2010 dry spell.
The DA attributed the minimal damage to the prompt distribution of support and assistance, as well as the dissemination of information to farmers.
Agriculture Secretaryc opted not to plant crops that are most susceptible to drought, opting instead for drought-resistant crops including peanut, mongo, soybean and sweet potato, which reduced the chances of damage and loss.
Alcala said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is keeping a close watch on all operations for both the fish capture and fish culture subsectors.
He said the crop insurance system was enhanced to protect farmers against losses incurred from natural calamities, plant diseases and pest infestations.
Under PCIC’s crop insurance program for rice, for example, a farmer may get indemnity ranging from P41,000-P65,000 which covers the cost of production per hectare.
The DA also provided seed and vaccine support, and conducted cloud seeding operations.