Around 70 percent of the rice farm areas in Bago City, Negros Occidental, the local government unit in the provincewith the biggest rice farmlands, have already been planted with rice seedlings as the cropping season started this month.
City Agriculturist Carlito Indencia said yesterday that, of more than 10,000 hectares of rice fields, around 70 percent have already been planted with rice seedlings as the areas in northern irrigated area in Bago are almost filled as planting in the southern part starts.
Based on the records of the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2013, Bago City comprised the 18.36 percent of the total 64,691.27 palay physical areas in the province.
Indencia said that the record might have changed as the conversion of the agricultural lands into commercial lands in the city has been noted, adding that farm laborers also decreased with the economic boom in construction.
He also said the city government hasdistributed around 1,500 sacks of rice seeds to the local farmers starting in the third week of May and ending last week, enabling them to spend only half of what it could cost.
“The city government has allocated around P2 million to this distribution project to help the farmers gain more profit,” Indencia said, adding that the cost of one sack of rice seedsranges shown P1,400 to P1,500,including hauling and delivery expenses.
He also said there were no pest infestation or calamity affected sites have been reported as of this month, as cropping season is still ongoing, adding that they are campaigning among the farmers to apply for insurance to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
He said his office has already asked for a P500,000 fund for a climate resiliency programat the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, intended for these rice farms,and it is now seeking the approval of the city's Sangguniang Panlunsod and for the mayor to sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the LGU and farmers.
“The fund is intended for the farmers' insurance application fees with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to ensure that they are ready for whatever calamities they may face,” Indencio said, adding they will only pay 50 percent of the fees. *MLG
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