Sunday, April 21, 2024

Ilocos Norte Rice Farmers Receive Fertilizer Vouchers, Veggie Seeds


Ilocos Norte Rice Farmers Receive Fertilizer Vouchers, Veggie Seeds


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Forty-five rice farmers from Currimao, Ilocos Norte received fertilizer vouchers with a total amount of PHP155,000 from the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday.

Other interventions extended were fuel subsidies, hybrid vegetable seeds, certified seeds as well as rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation facilities like solar power irrigation systems, diversion dams, and small farm reservoirs.

“This is an initial aid to all rice farmers who planted rice this dry season,” Currimao municipal agriculturist engineer Erickson Biag, told the Philippine News Agency.

Biag said about 10 percent of rice fields in the municipality is affected by drought.

Based on the latest monitoring report of DA-Region 1, rice is one of the most vulnerable crops during the dry spell this year, registering 1,072.98 metric tons (MT) of losses in production, valued at PHP59.75 million.

This translates to 573.21 hectares of production area damaged, affecting around 900 rice farmers in the entire Ilocos Region.

To sustain crop production amid the El Niño, the DA-Ilocos Region, in close coordination with local government units (LGUs), established its Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (RDRRMO) for intensified monitoring of affected areas.

Based on partial reports as of Feb. 20, dry spell-affected areas reached 1,174.95 hectares.

These areas cover parts of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan, which were planted with rice, corn, legumes, and lowland vegetables.

For corn, around 583 hectares were already damaged, affecting 1,288 farmers in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan, equivalent to losses of 982.29 MT valued at PHP23.69 million.

The drought likewise affected the growth of lowland vegetables as well as legumes, fruits, and other high-value crops, with a total land area of 18.44 hectares, affecting 102 farmers, mostly in Ilocos Norte.

The estimated production loss is 61.01 MT or PHP3.5 million.

On Jan. 19, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order (EO) No. 53 to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces under EO No. 16 (s. 2001) and Memorandum Order No. 38 (s. 2019).

The task force is in charge of a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize devastating effects. (PNA)