SAN JOSE, Antique – The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) recorded P15.042 million worth of crop losses due to the prolonged dry spell brought by the El Niño phenomenon.
OPA chief Nicolasito Calawag said the dry spell has affected 733.59 hectares of irrigated rice farms in six municipalities of the province as of April 1.
He added crops are now in their maturity and reproductive stages.
“We received reports of damage from the towns of Culasi, Patnongon, Anini-y, Tobias Fornier, Sebaste, and Valderrama,” Calawag said on Monday.
Calawag noted no town has declared a state of calamity despite the reported damage.
“We have informed early the farmers, such that they were able to change crops,” he said.
Calawag said farmers in Antique were already advised last year to plant alternative crops that would not require much water.
“Many farmers planted mongo, peanut, vegetable, and watermelon in lieu of palay that is why the El Niño phenomenon has not seriously affected us,” he said.
The OPA also came up with recommendations to alleviate drought impacts.
“The creation of Municipality El Niño/Drought Monitoring Team is also being recommended among the local government units for we still continuously expect additional report of damage from farmers,” Calawag said. (With a report form PNA/PN)