• Drought dries up P11-M cash crops

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    ILAGAN, Isabela: Farmers in this northern part of the province are complaining of a continuous dry spell that has damaged at least P11-million worth of crops amid the onset of the rainy season.

    The provincial agriculture office here said they received damage assessment reports showing at least 5,000 hectares of rice and corn farmlands affected by the prolonged drought in this country’s leading agriculture province.

    ”It is true that the downpour has started in the province but mostly in the southern towns only and left the northern areas still dry and continue to experience scarcity of water for irrigation,” said Dr. Danilo Tumamao, provincial agriculture officer of Isabela.

    Tumamao said that, among the northern towns which still lack irrigation water are Ilagan City, the provincial capital, the towns of Cabagan, San Mariano, Tumauini, Quezon, Santo Tomas, Santa Maria, Mallig, Quirino and San Pablo.

    He said that, these are the province’s major corn and rice producing areas and worst-hit among these towns is San Pablo having at least 3,000 hectares of affected farmlands.

    ”Rice and corn plants in these areas have been wilting. But most of the affected plants still have high chance of recovery if enough rains would fall in the next few days, thus keeping the province still on track with its production level,” Tumamao said.

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