By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .
IT’S been raining lately in Cagayan de Oro and the rest of Northern Mindanao, but the amount of rainfall remains below normal.
Because of this, the 11,000 farmers from Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental who experienced the five-month long drought, have yet to recover from losses that breached the P660-million mark as of May 10 this year, DA 10’s field operations chief Audie Maagad said Friday.
“The effects of El Niño are not over yet,” Maagad said, adding that the dry spell in the region may still persist. “There was no rain in Misamis Occidental for several weeks now and weather forecasts indicate this may last until August.”
However, he described Bukidnon’s weather to be near normal the past two weeks now.
He said his office has already prepositioned government’s intervention in places where rains have started to fall and these include a 25-liter fuel subsidy for tractor-aided land preparations and seeds of corn, palay and vegetables.
“We already delivered the seeds last week of April since it would take palay farmers 20 days to prepare the seedlings,” Maagad said.
These assistance, he said, would be extended to places where farm losses were reported.
DA 10’s field operations division received reports of farm losses from Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental, so far, but none from Misamis Occidental where rains continued to pour during the first quarter this year.
So far, DA-10 assessment record shows that Bukidnon posted almost half the region’s total farm losses at P312.275 million, the biggest chunk from corn at P298 million, while palay and vegetables had P298 million and P6 million, respectively.
This huge loss is shared by 4,440 farmers from Kibawe, Kadingilan, Kalilangan, San Fernando, and Sumilao municipalities and Malaybalay City.
The same record indicates Misamis Oriental shared about 30 percent of the region’s farm wastage estimated at P198 million from parched lands planted by some 1,628 farmers to corn, palay, vegetables and cassava.
Maagad said the Misamis Oriental assessed farm destruction include the 32.45-hectare cassava farm in barangays Hinaplanan, Madaguing and Patrocenio in Claveria town valued at P1.124 million and the P434 million worth of hybrid corn in a 15-hectare land barangay Balubal, Cagayan de Oro.
Other than Claveria and Cagayan de Oro, towns where farm crops were destroyed are Alubijid, Balingasag, Gitagum, Laguindingan, Lagonglong, Libertad, Manticao, Opol, Tagoloan and Villanueva as well as in El Salvador City.
Lanao del Norte, on the other hand, had farm losses for both corn and palay estimated at P152 million which is roughly 23 percent of the regional total and effected 3,983 farmers.