Php70-M worth of crops damage by drought in Maguindanao
By Edwin O. Fernandez
COTABATO CITY — The drought that started in January this year has affected more than P70 million worth of agricultural crops in the province of Maguindanao, agriculture officials today said.
Based on the initial report of office of the Maguindanao provincial agriculturist, more than 8,000 farmers have been affected by the dry spell which started three months back. It also dried up more than 100 hectares of rice and corn fields in Maguindanao’s 36 municipalities.
In its April 6 report, Maguindanao provincial agricultural officer Salik Panalunsong, said the most affected crops were corn which account to P46,354,700 pesos followed by palay with an estimated P8, 923,430 damages.
Damages to livestock were placed at more than a million pesos.
Panalunsong said the drought has affected more than 700 farmers.
He said the consolidated report of his office had been forwarded to the office of Maguidanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu
Panalunsong said the decision to put the province under state of calamity for the provincial government to use its calamity fund to cushion the impact of long dry spell hinges on the decision of provincial officials.
He also said that the total cost of damages could even go higher once all the reports have been submitted by the municipal agriculture officers.
Meanwhile, Panalunsong said the DA-Maguindanao will start planting vegetables that are head resistant in Maguindanao’s plain areas, including Open Pollinated Variety of corn.
Like other provincial agriculture officials, Panalunsong also recommended the conduct of cloud seeding operations in the province to induce rains that will help water the plants and other high value crops. (PNA)