HEAVY rains and flooding brought about by Tropical Storm Falcon have left an initial damage and production losses worth almost P4.2 million to the rice sector of Negros Occidental.
Provincial agriculturist Japhet Masculino said of the figure, about P2.6 million was incurred by affected-farmers in Valladolid town.
Masculino said the remaining amount of almost P1.6 million accounts for the damage and production losses incurred by farmers in San Enrique.
The initial cost of production losses covers 433 affected farmers with 1,726.56-hectare farm in seven and 14 barangays of San Enrique and Valladolid, respectively.
As monsoon rains enhanced by the storm continue to hit various cities and municipalities in the province, the amount of crop damage may still increase.
The monitoring, assessment and field validation of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) are ongoing, he added.
Earlier, OPA has been urging local farmers to insure their crops to lessen possible adverse effects of calamities like typhoons.
Under the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program (NFUCIP), farmers may avail themselves of the P17,000 claim per hectare of damaged farms.
Implemented since 2011, NFUCIP is an initiative of the provincial government in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).
Based on the modified guidelines of the program, the enrollment premium per cropping season remains at P840 but the whole amount will now be shouldered by the provincial government as a loan.
In the previous coverage, only P500 is being shouldered by the Province while the remaining P340 is the counterpart of the farmer-enrollees.
OPA stressed that enrollees should apply for insurance before planting.
Farms covered by the program are those planted for not less than 25 days, it added.