THE recent flooding and heavy rains brought by Typhoon Paolo left an initial damage and production losses worth almost P15.6 million to the agriculture sector of Negros Occidental.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Monday, October 23, reported that from October 18 to 20, the province’s rice sector incurred the biggest production losses, at P15.5 million.
The figure covers 458 farmers covering almost 600 hectares of rice farms in 20 villages of three local government units (LGUs).
The report showed that Valladolid incurred the highest damage, at almost P13.57 million; Hinigaran, P1.77 million; and Binalbagan, P179,500.
The province’s corn sector incurred damage and production losses amounting to P13,655. It covers five farmers in one-hectare field of a village in Binalbagan.
OPA also reported that three vegetable farmers with less than a hectare farm in the said town were also affected. They incurred P13,500 worth of production losses.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said field assessment and validation of affected areas are still ongoing thus the amount of damage may still increase.
Masculino said that farmers should enroll themselves in the province's crop insurance program to lessen possible adverse effects of calamities in their crops.
Under the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance (NFUCIP), which is in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), farmers may avail of the P17,000 claims per hectare of damaged farms.
The enrollment premium per cropping season is P840. Of which, only P340 is the counterpart of the farmer-enrollees while the remaining P500 is shouldered by the Provincial Government as loan.