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PIA Press Release

DA 6 hopes to recover losses from El Nino this wet season

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (19 May) -- DA 6 Director Larry Nacionales expressed high hopes that Western Visayas will recover from the P1.2 billion worth of damages brought by the long dry spell to agricultural crops.

Director Nacionales said in a PIA interview that the losses were recorded at 125,000 metric tons of rice destroyed by the dry spell in the 22,000 hectares of farm lands in the region.

He believes that this could be recovered during the wet season because per experience during the onslaught of Typhoon Frank, where the region also suffered heavy damages to agricultural products, "naka-recover pa kita".

"This is only a 5% decrease lower compared to our annual production output and we hope to recover this during the wet season, because 70 % of the bulk of production comes from this period," Nacionales said.

The region posted 2.2 million metric tons in rice production output in 2009 and for 2010, the region targets to achieve 2.3 million metric tons.

Director Nacionales said that with the long dry spell slowly fading out in the country "it is time for us to get ready for the wet season".

He said that some 118,000 bags of certified seeds to cover also some 118,000 hectares of rice lands are targeted for distribution regionwide.

An initial of 60,000 bags of certified seeds are ready for disposal from May to June especially when there is already enough water, Nacionales said.

Meanwhile, the DA press office disclosed in a press report that the livestock and poultry subsectors managed to post modest gains in the first quarter of the year despite the onslaught of El Niņo on key food-producing areas in the country.

Crops like coconut, mango, tobacco, cabbage, cassava and onion also registered positive growth rates but their gains were not enough to offset the significant production losses from palay and corn, according to the first-quarter official report of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

Production losses in palay and corn for the first quarter were estimated at 300,000 MT and 175,000 MT, respectively, the DA press report disclosed. (PIA6) [top]

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