Kalinga loses P142-M in crops to El Nino
by L. Lopez
Tabuk, Kalinga (6 March) -- The province's agriculture sector is facing heavy losses estimated to reach P142.254 million because of the long dry spell hitting the country.
Provincial Agriculture Officer Gerry Jose reported last week that the sector on corn suffered the heaviest with about 90% of its total area planted or 7,174 hectares posting zero recovery.
Only the corn planted in October have about 40-50% chance of recovery but those planted between November-December last year have no chance of recovery at all, Jose reported. Corn depends largely from the rains for water.
Jose said the estimated damaged volume to corn is placed at 27,187 MT valued at P85,850,887M with the municipality of Tabuk posting the highest figure at P28.1M, followed by Pinukpuk at P28M, Rizal, P19.9M and Tanudan, P9.3M.
Though most rice land in the province are irrigated by the Chico River Irrigation System, farmlands in the upland towns of Balbalan, Lubuagan, Pasil, Tanudan and Tinglayan dried up with the drought, Jose said.
The total rice area in the upland towns with no chance of recovery reached 3,205 hectares with 1,569 hectares are with recovery chances. Total estimated volume losses in rice is placed at 16,142MT costing about P46,195,106, Jose reported.
On high value commercial crops, Jose reported an affected area of 924 hectares with volume damage of 1,746 MT valued at P10.2M.
As mitigating efforts, the Provincial Agriculture Office recommended to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the allocation of emergency funds for the immediate purchase of water pumps for distribution to farmers in affected areas.
Other recommendations include construction of spring development, water catch reservoir, wind mills and full seed subsidy to farmers.
The Department of Agriculture is now working out for timely release of funds to affected beneficiaries in the region, Jose said. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]