Farmers urged to avail of insurance vs flooding-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now urging farmers to have their rice lands insured during the planting season to avail of financial assistance in case floodwaters damage their crops.
DA Regional Director Andrew Villacorta told Sun.Star Pampanga that the insurance is necessary to provide farmers with immediate assistance in case of disasters, like in the case of the recent flooding brought about by the southeast monsoon or habagat.
He added that they are calling on local officials to inform farmers in flood-risk areas of the program and expedite their respective lists.
The crop insurance programs entails a premium on the part of the farmer of P500 per hectare, which then translates to P3,000 if the farm is hit by floodwaters and has damaged crops.
Farmers are also given an option to increase their enrolment coverage beyond the P500 premium to avail of bigger assistance.
The coverage would enable farmers, through their cooperatives or groups, to access the funds in disasters like floods that hit farmlands here yearly. The money may be used in buying new seeds or fertilizer and other farm inputs.
The DA has also called on local government officials to join in a counterpart program with DA in bringing more farmers into the insurance coverage, and allocating at least P1,500 for farmers in the program to increase their enrolment premium or at least bring more farmers into the insurance coverage.
The DA said it aims to achieve 3.6 million metric tons (mt) production of palay for this year. The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Villacorta said, has recorded 1.7-million mt production for the first semester of the year. He added that DA expects 1.9 million metric ton production this wet cropping season.
The DA-3 has been topping its production goals since last year, registering an even substantial production beyond target goals.
The DA said that farmers affected by the recent flooding and who have enrolled in the insurance program may now avail of their assistances.
The DA said there are around 16,000 hectares and 13 hectares in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija identified as flood-risk areas, with another 12,000 hectares in Pampanga. However, only 20 percent have been covered as of press time as DA is still awaiting other documentation requirements from different provinces for approval.
The DA is still compiling the total number of damages to the agriculture sector in Central Luzon.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 29, 2013.