BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Losses in the agricultural sector in Negros Occidental in the first 19 days of 2021 are 17 percent higher than the total value of destruction in 2020.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said damage to the agricultural sector in the province rose to P76.4 million while the combined losses last year was only P65.4 million.
If losses in the crop production continue, it will create a major setback, especially in the rice sector, Masculino said.
As of yesterday, severe floods on January 1 and 8 submerged 1,637.33 hectares of farmlands and left P39.4 million in damage, affecting 1,804 farmers, he said.
Masculino added that the amount of damage in rice due to floods is already more than the value of the daily rice consumption of the province that is P36 million or about 200,000 bags.
Affected by the severe floods are the rice farms in Bago, Sagay, Victorias, Silay, Cadiz, Talisay, Manapla, Pontevedra, Valladolid, and EB Magalona.
There were no reported additional losses in high value crops, corn, fisheries, and livestock products in the province due to flooding, as of yesterday.
The damage in high value crop products remained at P8.9 million, covering 28.64 hectares of farms in Sagay, Escalante, Talisay, and Silay cities, affecting more than 300 farmers.
Some 111 hectares of ponds and fishing equipment were also destroyed and left P9.9 million in losses to at least a hundred fisherfolk from Cadiz, San Carlos, and EB Magalona.
Flooding also devastated 49.2 hectares, valued at P1.1 million, affecting 15 farmers in Sagay City. Damage in the irrigation system stood at P111,000 while losses in the animal industry remained at P8.5 million.*