El Nino damage now at P12B
The damage to crops due to El Nino has reached P12.11 billion as of May.
However, reports said even if the rainy season comes in June, the initial rains will not be enough to quench the parched farmlands.
The Department of Agriculture reported that it will miss its target to produce 18 million tons of rice this year due to the dry spells and droughts.
It said the El Nino’s effects slashed rice output by about 300,000 tons, and the expected heavy rains are projected to inflict more damage to agriculture.
The DA also said 204,245 tons of corn had been lost since February last year due to El Nino.
Rice paddy losses reached 299,558 tons as of May 3, and the DA is ramping up the cloud seeding operations by signing a memorandum with the Department of National Defense to use military aircraft for cloud seeding.
Government has not yet discussed contingency measures for a possible La Nina.