An official of a sugar central in Negros Occidental said that sugar prices may increase next year because of the decrease in production resulting from the dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon .
Sagay Central Inc. manager Primitivo Rivera said last week their production is expected to dip by at least 10 percent unless the standing crops are saved.
Rivera said not all sugar farmers can avail of the water supply from the irrigation systems and many are dependent on rain.
He said it is now necessary to conduct cloud-seeding operation in the province to save, not only the standing crops, but also those intended for next year's production.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. had said earlier that government procedures, such as bidding, could slow down the cloud seeding response time.
Sugar Regulatory Administrator Ma. Regina Martin, who has been calling for cloud seeding, said Wednesday that 40-50 percent of the standing sugarcane to be milled next crop year in Negros are the most affected by the dry spell hitting the province, and badly need rain.
Martin said 20 to 30 percent of the millable standing canes may be affected by the dry spell.*APN
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