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Assistance readied for drought-affected farmers

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Provincial Agriculturist Dina Gensola*

The provincial government of Negros Occidental is extending financial assistance to farmers, affected by the drought, which may last until May, according to state weather bureau PAGASA, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed yesterday.

During their meeting on Wednesday, Lacson said he already ordered Provincial Agriculturist Dina Gensola to come up with a list of farmers affected by the El Niño phenomenon, which they can use in the next rice cropping season.

Financial assistance of P2,500 each will be given to affected farmers, according to the governor.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculture reported that damage due to the dry spell in Negros Occidental has increased to P12.8 million.

Affected are 346 hectares of rice land in the 5th and 6th districts of Negros Occidental, where most rice farmers affected by the dry spell are reliant on rains, Lacson said.

While the financial assistance may not be enough, I hope it can somehow mitigate their financial needs, he added.

Lacson also encouraged farmers to clean canals which have been already clogged up with wastes.

It’s time to really maximize whatever water is available, he pointed out.

Lacson said he is confident that about 60,000 hectares of irrigated lands will be able to produce rice for the province.

The provincial government is also considering the conduct of cloud seeding operations, as they are looking into sources of funds for it.*

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