A total of 5,979 hectares of farmland have already been affected by the El Niño drought as of March 11.
In a press conference Tuesday (March 12), Department of Agriculture (DA) 10 director Carlene Collado reported that Bukidnon bore the brunt of the crisis with 5,768 hectares in rice, corn and vegetable farmland affected.
Only 200 hectares of farmland were affected in Misamis Oriental. The rest of the provinces – Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental – have yet to report the effects of the drought in their respective localities.
But Collado said that they have already distributed 500 submsersible pumps to the five provinces as early as a year ago to mitigate the effects of such severe weather disturbance.
He added that another 100 of these pumps will be distributed in Bukidnon later this week.
DA 10 is likewise preparing for buffer stocks in rice and corn seeds and vegetables for farmers in non-affected areas to use and continue production to offset the lesser harvest in El Niño-affected areas.
The damage to rice, corn and vegetable crops so far regionwide has already totaled P292 million with the following breakdown: P279 million in corn crops, P8 million in rice crops and P4.45 million in vegetables.
There were 4,715 farmers in Region 10 affected by the crisis so far.