Cordillera corn farmers feel brunt of El Niño

AROUND P1 billion worth of corn in the Cordillera was damaged due to the El Niño, said the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In the weekly Kapihan sa Baguio, DA-Cordillera Director Cameron Odsey said the lack of water due to the effects of El Niño have contributed to the damage in corn produce in the region.

“The agriculture area affected by El Niño is on corn which is very vulnerable because most of the corn produce are rain-fed. So if there is no water, these agricultural products will die. There were also rice areas which were near the irrigation systems which destroyed by El Niño,” Odsey said.

In March, the DA Regional Operation Center initially recorded some P1.18 billion worth of rice, corn cassava and other high-value crops that have been damaged by the phenomenon.

At that time, corn had the highest damage with P958.92 million, followed by rice with P207.05 million, while damage in high-value crops were recorded at P10.80 million and P3.76 million for cassava.

Majority of losses were observed in the provinces of Ifugao with P470.652 million, followed by Apayao province with P456 million.

“On rice, the effects of El Niño is estimated to be around P300 million while others affected were live stocks and a little of the high value crops,” Odsey added.

Aside from the provinces of Ifugao and Kalinga, other areas affected by the El Niño were Ilocos Region (Pangasinan), Cagayan Valley (Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino), Central Luzon (Bulacan), Calabarzon (Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal), Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro), Bicol Region (Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate), Western Visayas (Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental), Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Samar), Zamboanga Peninsula (Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte), Northern Mindanao (Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental), Davao Region (Davao del Sur), Soccsksargen (Cotabato), and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Maguindanao).


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