Ifugao town declared calamity area due to El Nino
by Vency D. Bulayungan
Alfonso Lista, Ifugao (27 February) -- The Municipal Local Government Unit here declared the whole town as calamity area after the El Nino devastated its farmlands.
Vice Mayor Clarence Polig said that most if not all their corn fields were greatly affected by the long dry spell causing farmers to worry about their source of livelihood.
"The farmers here are very pitiful and they are already knocking at our doors for help since this is a big loss for them especially so that corn is one of the main crops of this municipality," Polig said.
Engr. Michael Tegui-in, Technician of the Provincial Agriculture Office here said that in Alfonso Lista alone, a total land area of 7,319.60 hectares of farmlands were damaged by the El Nino. The crops mostly corn and some palay are in their reproductive/vegetative stage.
Based on the partial assessment of crop damage submitted by the Municipal Agriculture Office, cost of the damages amounted to P23,783,500.00, Tegui-in disclosed.
Alfonso Lista, along with other low lying areas like Aguinaldo, Lamut and part of Lagawe are the hardest hit by the long dry spell. Lamut reported total damage of P11,875,000.00, Aguinaldo-P7,857,500.00, Hingyon-P7,280,000.00 Lagawe has a partial total damage of P4,624,300.00, Kiangan-P1,298,500.00; Asipulo-P808,500.00; and Tinoc-P441,000.00.
Tegui-in said that most of the crops are rain fed thus the agriculture department is trying to save the said crop by cloud seeding. He however explained that not all crops will be saved as cloud seeding does not really produce the volume of water needed by the said crops.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) here advised animal owners to dispose some of the animals in order to save them from the devastating effects of the said dry spell.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. James Gopeng said that ranch owners should begin selling their animals so that they will be able to gain a little from it rather than for the animals to die one by one as the dry season starts to attack not only agriculture but livestock.
"Most of the diseases acquired from the long dry spell is black leg," Gopeng said. The animals suffer from dehydration as streams, rivers and brooks where these animals drink are drying up and lack of food because grasses are withering due to extreme heat, he added. Most of the ranches are found in Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista and Lamut.
Gopeng disclosed that the owners of the livestock can feed their animals with crop residues and cut and carry of grown corn stover to save them from starvation. He also discouraged people from burning hills and mountains with the objective of letting new grasses grow.
To date, Aguinaldo reported the death of 31 livestock due to starvation and heatstroke, Alfonso Lista with 15, Lagawe, 7 and Lamut with 10. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]