DA intensifies efforts to maximize farm output; losses placed at P6.58 million
The Department of Agriculture said it is strengthening efforts to increase farm output with the continuing dry spell even as it placed production losses from El Nino at only P6.58 million.
In a statement, the agriculture department said the El Nino weather phenomenon has affected 224,834 hectares of rice and corn farms as well as land planted to high value crops.
The department said it has provided 6,875 units of pump irrigation equipment valued at P46 million to affected areas, as well as 604 units of shallow tube wells worth P400,000, and improved 5,624 irrigation canals.
According to data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, local farmers planted rice on some 785,000 hectares of land, with only some 235,000 hectares harvested as of February 1, 2016. The area planted to corn was at some 390,000 hectares, and only some 180,000 hectares harvested.
The department said its regional offices has broadened the distribution of the STWs to rain fed and upland areas and upland areas and will be distributing 332 units of pump and engine sets, nine units of diversion dams, 1,816 units of open-source pump irrigation equipment, and four drilling rigs
The agriculture department said that as of April, it has provided 11,309 bags of hybrid rice seeds worth P55.3 million, 61,742 bags of certified rice seeds worth P83.5 million, 18,440 bags of fertilizer and hybrid seed package worth P50 million, 150 bags of soil ameliorants, 166 units of crop insurance, and 572 bags of multi-stress seed variety green super rice to affected farmers. Its regional field offices have distributed 2,255 bags of hybrid corn seeds, 44,091 bags of open pollinated variety corn (OPV) seeds, 550 bags of yellow corn, and 8,000 bundles of cassava seed pieces to corn farmers. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)