Rice bowl of Central Visayas is near empty
PILAR, Bohol—Jonathan Baluma considered it a blessing when he was able to harvest 300 sacks of palay from his 6-hectare farm in Barangay Bagumbayan in this town in Bohol province. He was happy that the grains were bigger and heavier.
In February, however, his joy turned to worry as his harvest dropped to only 30 sacks and the grains became smaller. He decided not to sell his harvest and keep it to ensure that he, his wife Nicoria, 58, and eight children would have rice to eat.
Baluma, 59, blamed the poor harvest on the prolonged drought, which also adversely affected the quality of the grains. It has not rained in the whole province of Bohol since January.
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