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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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Rains may save rice, guv says
as Neg. Occ. losses hit P320M

Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said if the rains continue some rice fields hit by the dry spell in Negros Occidental can recover.

The damage to crops caused by the continuous dry spell in Negros Occidental hit P320 million yesterday.

But Marañon said cloud-seeding in Negros Occidental will be implemented only when there is no more rain and it is hot again.

The slow rain hitting the province is ideal for rejuvenating rice lands and other dry spell hit areas because it seeps into the ground, he said.

Marañon said it is like drip irrigation that is most effective for agricultural crops.

If the rain is strong, it will not seep in, it will just erode the soil, he said.

He also stressed that the best remedy for the long dry spell are prayers for more rain.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist report said 5,295 rice, corn, high value commercial crops farmers and tilapia breeders in 21 towns and cities in the province are affected by the El Niño phenomenon that covers more than 4,551 hectares.

Hinigaran town led with most damage that amounted to P23,968,008, Kabankalan City followed with P21,699,162.

The Municipality of Ilog reported P21,497,414 in losses, Candoni P18,869,160, and Pontevedra P15,997,545.

Damage to rice in all 21 affected LGUs has reached P136,879,442.50 covering 4450.47 hectares of rain fed and irrigated fields

In Kabankalan City, production losses in fresh water rice fish culture since Jan. 20 were accounted at P985,250 affecting 44 aquaculture farm operators.

Meanwhile crop damage in squash, okra, string beans, eggplant and peppers in Hinigaran town has reached P838,086 since Nov. 2015.

Corn crops in towns of Hinigaran, Moises Padilla and Sipalay City suffered a P2,118,600 loss, also since November.

Field assessments and validation of other LGUs are ongoing, the press release said.

Earlier the Sugar Regulatory Administration reported P13,306,969 damage to sugarcane, and the Provincial Veterinarian reported P2,131,611 in losses to livestock in Negros Occidental.*KBC



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