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El Niño causes P109 million in damage to rice crops in Visayas, Zamboanga

01 February 2024

As the El Niño phenomenon persisted, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported additional rice damage in parts of Western Visayas and Zamboanga during the early months of the year.

The DA-Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DA-DRRM) said that some rice fields suffered P109 million losses by the end of January, affecting 2,602 farmers.

The rice damage which was found in its reproductive phase or near ripening, reached 4,758 metric tons (MT) of production at 2,177 hectares of rice areas.

Because of this, the agency will continue sharing advisories on agri-meteorological information and better crop management through various stakeholders to avoid yield waste.

The DA will also pursue studying the data on planting and harvesting rice and corn, as well as the sources of irrigation systems like dams, small water impounding systems (SWIP), and small-scale irrigation projects (SSIP).

The DA-DRRM also said that the reservoir water level (RWL) of Angat Dam by the last stretch of January is 211 meters.

Angat Dam is responsible for the Bulacan and Pampanga rice field irrigation.

On Wednesday, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) assured sufficient supply from the Magat Dam, which is one of the largest water sources in the Philippines that aid with field watering.

Moreover, other under-construction projects like solar pump irrigation and dams within Visayas are expected to counter the effects of the dry season.

Source : mb