Negros crops safe from cold weather

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Friday, January 31, 2014


THE extreme cold that downed million worth of animals in Negros Occidental this month has minimal effect to crops, based on the assessment of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).

"They did not report any big damage and if there was, the farmers are slowly recovering," Engr. Igmedio Tabianan, head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), said Thursday.

Tabianan met with municipal and city agriculturists, and field agriculturists of the OPA Thursday to get their feedbacks on the effect of the extreme cold weather on agricultural produce.

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He added that the effects are limited to the mountain town of Salvador Benedicto and the areas surrounding the Mt. Kanlaon.

There are no effects to agriculture in the low lands, Tabianan said.

Prices of vegetables may rise, he said, not because of the cold weather in the province but due to the "law of supply and demand."

"If we follow the law of supply and demand, it will have an impact on prices of vegetables and other agricultural products," Tabianan said.

Vendors will be forced to increase prices if extreme cold affects the vegetable produce coming from Benguet and Baguio, he added.

Tabianan encouraged vegetable farmers in Negros Occidental to register their plantations with the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance (NFUCI).

Tabianan said that NFUCI has P7 million to P10 million allocation from the Department of Agriculture (DA)and a P10 million counterpart fund from the Provincial Government enough to cover 14 hectares of agricultural land for each farmer.

He said the frost affecting vegetables cannot be prevented because it is a natural occurrence when the weather is extremely cold.

"I advise farmers that if this happens they should go their local agriculture office to get assistance so they can be registered with the NFUCI," Tabianan said.

Almost 600 farm animals in the province have already died due to the cold weather with losses reaching P3 million, according to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian.

Aside from livestock, also affected are poultry, particularly game fowls and egg-laying chicken amounting to P2.2 million.

The animal deaths were reported in the cities of Cadiz, Sagay, Bago, La Carlota, Himamaylan and Sipalay, and the towns of Salvador Benedicto, Toboso, Manapla, Murcia, Valladolid, San Enrique, and Moises Padilla.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 31, 2014.

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