BACOLOD City – Farmers and fisherfolk in Negros Occidental suffered production losses worth P124.264 million for the first five months this year due to dry spell, pests and plant diseases.
The Office of Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) submitted its progress report to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Thursday.
OPA said rice and corn farmers including tilapia and bangus growers were heavily affected incurring multi-million losses.
In rice sector, affected farmers in 21 local government units incurred a total of P94.018-million loss from Jan.1 to May 27.
The damage was reported in 147 barangays by 3,378 farmers.
Those in Himamaylan City incurred the highest loss of P12.06 million, followed by Calatrava, P10.726 million; Don Salvador Benedicto, P9.796 million; and Murcia, P8.293 million.
Corn farmers in three areas also reported P10.098 million in losses. These are in towns of Calatrava with P.804 million; Sipalay City, P2.138 million; and San Carlos City, P155,400.
Rice farmers in four localities also reported P15.825-million production loss due to pests and diseases such as bacterial leaf blight, rice black bug, tungro, and rats.
Tilapia and bangus growers in Bago City meanwhile reported a P254,900-million loss. In E.B. Magalona, losses incurred by bangus growers totaled P682,992.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said OPA continues to conduct field validation and information dissemination to field agriculturists on the occurrence of weak El Niño and dry spell.
The OPA Crop Protection also facilitated light trapping operations for rice black bug with their local government counterparts, he added. (With a report from PNA/PN)