RICE grain bug infested some farms in two localities of Negros Occidental bringing damage and production losses amounting to about P2.445 million.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) on Wednesday, February 7, reported that 42 farmers in Pontevedra town and Himamaylan City with total area of 68 hectares were affected.
In Pontevedra, 33 farmers with 59-hectare rice farms incurred P2.1 million in production losses. The remaining P391,776 was incurred by nine farmers with nine-hectare farms in Himamaylan.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said the OPA distributed 31 packs of metarhizium anisopliae as bio-control to affected farmers.
These were sourced from the Department of Agriculture Region 6- Regional Crop Protection Center.
Masculino said crop protections team from the PA and the agriculture offices of the two localities conducted pest monitoring and field assessment as well as information campaign on pest surveillance and management.
“Local government units are urged to conduct information campaign and regular monitoring especially in rice areas that are still in tillering to booting stage,” he added.
Starting this year, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) will cover farms affected by rice grain bug and rice bug through its various insurance programs, including the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance (NFUCIP).
This means that enrolled farmers with rice farms damaged by these two pests can now avail of indemnity claims.