By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) has reported about P473 million worth of damage in the agro-fishery industry due to the prevailing effects of El Niño phenomenon and pest infestation in Negros Occidental.
Based on the latest report from OPA, losses in the production of rice, corn, high value commercial crops (HVCC), and fishery sectors reached almost P104 million. It comprises almost P79.5 million worth of damage in rice.
Of the total amount of rice production losses, about P8.1 million worth of losses was recorded in Calatrava, followed by Binalbagan with P7.1 million, P6.1 million in Cauayan, almost P5.2 million in Hinoba-an, P3.9 million in Bago City, P3.7 million in San Carlos City, almost P3.4 million in Pontevedra, and P2.4 million in Cadiz City.
Hinigaran also incurred losses amounting to P2.2 million; Ilog – P2.2 million; E.B. Magalona – P1.8 million; Toboso – P1.3 million; Talisay City – almost P1.2 million; Sipalay City – P1.1 million; San Enrique – P858,675; Silay City – P826,600; and La Castellana – P826,019.
It affected 2,815 farmers with 2,411.20-hectare farms situated in 132 barangays of 20 local government units (LGUs).
The biggest losses were recorded in Salvador Benedicto with almost P9.8 million, followed by Himamaylan City and Murcia with P8.7 million and P8.2 million, respectively.
OPA also noted about P10 million worth of production losses in the corn sector, which affected a total of 177-hectare farms and 171 farmers in Sipalay City, San Carlos City and Calatrava.
For HVCC, 302 farmers with 37.76 hectares in San Carlos City were affected with an initial damage amounting to about P1.5 million.
The towns of Pontevedra and Cauayan incurred about P11 million worth of production losses due to pest and diseases like rats, rice black bugs and leaf blight.
Meanwhile, the total losses in the fishery sector is pegged at P952,892. It comprises the damage in bangus and tilapia production plus fishing vessel in Bago City and E.B. Magalona.
Earlier, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) reported about P366 million worth of damage to sugarcane sector of the province, affecting 42,424.86 hectares brought by the dry spell.
It has an estimated yield loss of about 114,773 tons, equivalent to 223,807.91 50-kilogram bags of sugar and 3,787.51 metric tons of molasses.
The SRA also reported damage worth P324.5 million in sugar and almost P41.7 million in molasses, in terms of its value.
For the livestock and poultry industry, the Provincial Veterinary Office reported about P3 million worth of damage due to the El Niño phenomenon.
The municipal governments of Murcia and Isabela already declared a state of calamity in their respective localities, amid the prevailing effects of mild El Niño.
Field validation conducted by Provincial Crop Protection Team and affected LGUs is ongoing.