THE initial worth of damage brought by the massive flooding earlier this month to crop and fishery sector of Negros Occidental has already surpassed the amount of agro-fishery losses incurred by the province for the whole of 2020.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) reported Tuesday, January 19, an initial P76.4-million losses following the flash floods brought by heavy rains with strong winds that hit the province on January 1 and 8 this year.

The figure is almost 17 percent higher compared to P65.38 million worth of agro-fishery losses incurred by the province from January to December 2020.

Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said last year's total amount of damage and losses account for those brought by calamities like typhoons and floods, plant diseases and pest infestation.

Masculino said the field validation and assessment are still ongoing, and additional damage reports for Sagay City and Manapla are still coming in, thus the amount of losses for this year may still increase.

"We are still in the first month of the year, yet the amount of damage to our agriculture sector has already surpassed the amount of losses we recorded during the entire last year," he added.

OPA earlier reported that for the January 8 to 11 flash floods alone, the losses are already pegged at P59.39 million.

The figure covers 2,369 farmers and fisherfolk in the province with combined production areas of 2,024.74 hectares.

Bulk of the amount, at about P39.36 million, was incurred by the province's rice sector.

This comprises 1,637.33 hectares of rice farms, affecting 1,804 farmers in 75 barangays of Escalante City, Sagay City, Cadiz City, Manapla, Victorias City, Talisay City, Silay City, Valladolid, Pontevedra and Bago City.

The amount is on top of almost P17 million worth of damage to agro-fishery reported in five localities in the province following the massive flooding on January 1 this year.

The figure covers 1,302 affected farmers and fisherfolk with a total area of 727.85 hectares in 25 barangays of Sagay City, Cadiz City, Victorias City, Silay City and E.B. Magalona.

"We pray that no major calamities will hit the province in the coming months so the amount of losses among our farmers will no longer surge, and so the local agriculture industry will not suffer much this year," the provincial agriculturist said.

Aside from the crops and fishery sector, the livestock and poultry sector also incurred a total of P8.6 million due to the recent flash floods.

The Provincial Veterinary Office said that for the flooding on January 8 to 11, the sector incurred P5.14 million worth of losses and another P3.5 million during the first flooding last January 1.