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El Niño P35-M in high-value crops destroyed in Davao Sur

The regional office of the Department of Agriculture has reported that the impact of the weak El Niño phenomenon has not only been in rice and corn but also on other crops.

Roy Jose Pascua, focal person for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) of the agency, said that it received a report that the high-value crop sub-sector also sustained about P35 million as a result of the drought that started late last year.Pascua said the municipalities that sustained the damage were also Bansalan, Matanao, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur, the same areas whose rice and corn farms also suffered from the onslaught of the dry spell.

Among the crops that were destroyed, he added, were banana, coffee, cacao and vegetables, plants that are grown in upland areas.

He added that about 30,000 hectares of farms planted to high-value crops were affected. “Since last year, we have been bracing for the impact (of the drought),” Pascua told TIMES, Tuesday.

Pascua said the agency has continued to monitor the impact on the vegetation of the province as well as other farming villages of the region.

He called on farmers to choose crops or specific varieties that can adapt to conditions in their areas as well as monitor water levels of irrigation dams.

In the Seasonal Climate Outlook, a copy of which was obtained from the regional office all provinces will experience near normal rainfall, except Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental from April to August as they will continue to have rainfall level which is below normal.

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