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P161.2-M in losses | Davao Sur agri suffers from drought: top exec

The damage to rice and corn production in Davao del Sur has ballooned to about P161.2 million as drought has worsened in several production areas of the province, the regional office of the Department of Agriculture bared over the weekend.

Roy Jose Pascua, focal person for Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (DRRMC) of the agency, identified those hardest-hit municipalities by the drought as Matanao, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Bansalan, and Magsaysay.

Pascua said the climate pattern, more popularly known as El Niño, has affected about 4,000 farmers and 3,657 hectares of farms since November.

This resulted in about P155.6 million in losses among rice farms and P5.5 million among those with corn farms as irrigation and other water intervention mechanisms could hardly reach them. The agency said it has provided the farms with open source pumps.

Pascua said the agency wanted to conduct cloud seeding today, but the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSMW) advised to reschedule the activity to next month.

The recent weather disturbance, Typhoon Chedeng, also brought some positive effect in some ways as it brought rains to about 50% of the areas, said Pascua.

Aside from Davao del Sur, the agency is also monitoring other areas in the region that are expected to also suffer from the dry spell. “In (Davao del) Norte, there are already signs of low water level specifically in Carmen but it’s still not that alarming,” Pascua said.x



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