FAO, DOLE ready assistance to Zamboanga farmers hit by drought
The Food and Agriculture Organization and the Department of Labor and Employment are readying food-for-work and cash-for-work assistance to farmer families in Zamboanga City, where losses to crops due to the El Nino has reached P23.9 million last week.
The Philippine News Agency reported that 1,092.28 hectares of agricultural lands planted to rice, corn, assorted vegetables and other crops have been destroyed by prolonged drought.
The PNA, quoting Zamboanga City agriculturist Diosdado Palacat, said 517.6 hectares of rice fields were hardest hit, followed by 262.08 hectares of cornfields and 69.84 hectares of assorted vegetables.
Other affected areas were planted to banana, papaya, cassava, sweet potato, peanut, ginger, mung bean, eggplant, squash, cacao, lanzones, rambutan and durian.
Palacat reported to the city government that aside from FAO and DOLE, other government agencies are being contacted for assistance.
He also said the Department of Agriculture and the local government are set to conduct cloud seeding operations to induce artificial rain in the parched areas.