Sudlon farmers’ harvest shrinks as temperature drops

THE incessant rains experienced in some mountain barangays in Cebu City from January 13 to 26, along with the current cold weather condition, have affected the income of at least 200 farmers in Barangay Sudlon II.

Analiza Matondo, 41, who has been farming for 19 years, said that the constant rain they experienced during the Sinulog season and sudden drop in temperature at night have contributed to the damage of their crops in Sitio Maraag, Sudlon II.

“Tugnaw kaayo oy. Magabi-i hangtod kadlawon tugnaw kaayo diri. Katong pagkusog sa uwan kay nangalata ug nag yellow-yellow among lettuce. Sa una katong wala pa nadaot, mga 10 ka barrel sa lettuce every after two months i-deliver sa middle man, ihandos ngadto sa Carbon. Karon, pito nalang ka barrel,” she said.

Sudlon II is a mountain village located 29 kilometers from the city center. Most residents rely on agriculture as their primary source of income.

In an interview on Thursday, January 31, Al Quiblat of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the cold weather felt in Cebu, particularly in elevated mountainous areas, is caused by the “amihan” or northeast monsoon from Japan and China-a spillover of the winter season these countries are experiencing.

Matondo said that aside from lettuce, other harvests such as eggplant and chili have also been affected by the cold weather.

While segregating rotten eggplants from those that are still sellable, Liza Dayanan, 40, shared how the current weather condition affected their harvest.

“Gamay g’yod. Dako na og kansi (loss.) Kansi na kaayo tungod sa sige’g uwan mga laya man gud. Kini sa una maka harvest mi tag 2,000 ka kilo pero karon gamay na lang 300 kapin na lang ni ka kilo, pili-an pa g’yod ni sa mga reject. Sa siyudad wala kaayo’y uwan siguro pero diri grabeng uwan atong niagi oy,” she said.

On January 20, Typhoon Amang brought heavy rains to the Visayas, including Cebu City.

Romeo Dayanan, husband of Liza, said some of their crops have been affected by fungal infection since they are unable to use pesticides due to the rain.

“Naay mga areas ra sama sa Sudlon II, mga sitio diri sa Sinsin ug Sudlon 1 ang gi-uwan. Didto sa Busay kay wala man. Kutkuton gyud sa fungi ang mga tanom kay dili na man gud namo ma-sprayhan kay mao ra gihapon, mabanwas ra. Maanod ra tungod sa uwan. Unya malata sab ilang mga udlot, ang udlot aning talong ba, kay mahumod man,” he said.

As a remedy for the fungal infection, farmers spray fungicide on their crops.

“Ang kining mga sili espada sab, mga singkwenta ni ka kilo kasagaran gikut-kot man, pero sauna muabot ni og gatos ka kilo,” Romeo added.

Jesrome Pepito, 29, said that while the cold weather has not severely damaged his tomatoes, the occasional strong winds brought by typhoon Amang caused some damage.

“Ang hangin atong mga niaging semana maoy naka damage sa bunga. Musukol sukol siya sa klima depende sa pagatiman. Matandog man iyang bunga sa hangin bisag putot pa ba, nya mao ni magasgas. Tungod sab sa hangin hasta mga dili pa angay i-harvest nga mga kamatis kay nangataktak,” he said.

Ian Bellita, 27, of Sitio Kansagahang, Sudlon II found himself in the same situation.

“Sa tanom g’yod epekto, gabii tun-og kaayo, nya inig ingon aron, adlaw, lain kaayo ang init ba. Sagad jud malaya sa mga lettuce. Malaya iyang dahon, dili jud siya matarong og porma. Minos man ang kilo (price per kilo) kung gagmay imong lettuce. So, imong income mugamay sad,” he explained.

He is optimistic, though, that the next harvest will be better.

“Ingon ana man gyud na, sugal gyud. Mag-agad ra man gyud mi sa panahon, sa presyo, ug sa kalidad. Tanom lang gihapon basin adto sa sunod na ta makabawi,” he said.

For its part, the City Government advised the farmers to insure their crops and farm animals to protect their livelihood from unfavorable weather conditions. (Wenilyn Sabalo, USJ-R intern)


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