The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Negros Occidental is urging farmers who have no access to irrigation or water source for rice production to instead plant high-value or alternative crops this quarter, as the agency will not accept insurance applications for rice crop planted from January to April for rain-fed areas.
PCIC-Neg. Occ. head, Jose Ma. Torres, said yesterday they are discouraging farmers in rain-fed areas to plant rice from January to May, as light droughts are expected, and it will not be suitable to grow the staple food without sufficient water supply.
Instead of planting rice, Torres said farmers could plant crops that are suitable for the dry weather condition.
This advisory came after the PCIC Regional Office 6 released a memorandum advising all provinces in Western Visayas of the halt in rice insurance for rain-fed areas in the first four months of 2019.
The memorandum, Torres said, is released annually to remind rain-fed rice farmers that it is not suitable to plant the crop as, aside from the fact that it is too risky, it is also a loss of investment if damaged because of the drought expected to come this quarter.
He also said farmers in areas with continued irrigation or sufficient water supply are still allowed to apply, but PCIC is strict to those in areas that have no access to water source who grow the crop.
If a farmer in a rain-fed area opts to plant other crops viable for the season, the PCIC will accept the application, he added.
Meanwhile, PCIC has also released a new list of high-value crops (HVCs) that can be insured through this government-run insurance system.
There are 61 HVCs allowed to be insured under the program. The list includes bamboo trees, mushroom, coconut, coffee, dragon fruit, taro, and lanzones, among others.*
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