The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist reported P16.8 million worth of crop and fishery damages when tropical depression Agaton hit Negros Occidental in the first week of this year.
The report given to the DAILY STAR yesterday showed that from Jan. 1-8, crop damages from four to three government units were at P15,138,034 while fishery damages from Jan. 1- 2 from six LGUs was at P1,684,425.
In all, damage worth P16,822,459 was recorded in the first week of January due to Agaton.
The damages were due to flooding and heavy rains brought by Agaton, that affected rice and high value commercial crops and fishing facilities and equipment.
Bago City incurred the highest crop damages at P14,229,144, covering a total of 583.55 hectares, and affecting 337 farmers from 15 barangays.
Cadiz City also reported crop damages worth P696,160 covering 48.95 has. and affecting 54 farmers from five barangays for rice and another P168,360 for high value crops covering 1.075 hectares affecting 17 farmers from three barangays.
E. B.Magalona reported rice crop damages worth P44,370 covering 9.60 has. and affecting 22 farmers from two barangays.
The town also reported the highest fishery production losses brought by Agaton that amounted to P1,070,125, affecting 118 fisherfolk and an association.
Damage in the town involved 688.5 units of fish corrals or tangkop, fishing gear and oyster culture project.
Escalante City also reported damage to a fishpond (dikes and fish cage) of P130,000 from five units, affecting five fisherfolk.
Bago also reported P270,000 damage due to gill nets in the city, affecting 45 fisherfolk, and Cadiz City reported damaged fishing gear valued at P35,300 affecting seven fisherfolk.
Manapla and Sipalay City also reported damaged bancas valued at P109,000 and P70,000, and 19 bancas of 18 fisherfolk were affected.
Office of the Provincial Agriculturist head Japhet Masculino said they will request for buffer stocks of seeds from the Department of Agriculture regional office to aid farmers affected by crop losses.
Rice damages could still be recovered as crops in most of the areas affected are in the reproductive and ripening stage, he said, adding that the damages brought by Agaton had a minimal effect on the rice sufficiency of the province.
Fishery damages were mostly to fishing gears and equipment, and Masculino said they are now finding ways to help affected fisherfolk.
Affected farmers and fisherfolk could also be aided through crop insurance, and the OPA is now validating who are enrolled in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to recover the damages they had incurred, Masculino added.
They are still gathering more reports from other local government units and, by the time it will be completed, that is also the time when buffer stocks of seeds could be given to affected farmers, he said. *MLG
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