THE damage to the sugarcane sector of Negros Occidental brought by the dry spell due to the prevailing El Niño phenomenon was pegged at about P366 million.
Based on the Crop Damage Estimate Report of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), which was submitted to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (Opa), the figure covers an affected area of 42,424.86 hectares.
The estimated yield loss is 114,773 tons, equivalent to 223,807.91, 50-kilogram bags of sugar and 3,787.51 metric tons of molasses.
In terms of value, the SRA reported a damage worth P324.5 million in sugar and almost P41.7 million in molasses.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said the report did not indicate the number of local government units in the province affected by El Niño.
Masculino said the mitigating measures for sugarcane farms are taken by the SRA while Opa is taking charge of rice, vegetables and other crops.
“Though, the cloud seeding operations of the Department of Agriculture scheduled in May will also benefit sugarcane farms in the province,” he also said.
Earlier, Opa reported that the damage to the Negros Oriental agriculture sector, particularly rice and corn, caused by the ongoing spell and pests already surged to P60.61 million.
Greatly affected localities in the province were Murcia and Binalbagan with P8.29 million and P7.13 million worth of rice production losses, respectively, it added.
For dry spell alone, it damaged 1,268 hectares of rice farmlands in 13 LGUs totaling P46.77 million. Affected farmers are 1,380.
The remaining P11.5 million accounts for production losses caused by pests like rats, rice black bugs and leaf blight.
Of the figure, P10.77 million was reported in Pontevedra and P769,910 in Cauayan.