ILAGAN CITY, Isabela: The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) here said El Niño damaged close to P1 billion-worth of agricultural crops in 23 towns in the province.
PAO chief Danilo Tumamao said data released to the media indicating more than P966-million worth of damaged corn and palay (unmilled rice) was verified by the Provincial Disaster Action Team (PDAT).
The data showed that 40,386 affected farmers have lost a total of 73,921 metric tons of corn amounting to P966,912,335 and P35-million worth of palay.
Tumamao said in the 5,500 hectares of both crops in their vegetative stage, 4,900 hectares were partly damaged and 510 hectares destroyed.
He added that there were 48,580 hectares of corn and palay already in their reproductive stage, 42,400 hectares of which were partly destroyed while 6,142 hectares were wasted.
Tumamao said that of the 120,359 hectares planted to corn in this year’s wet season, 54,065 hectares or 44.94
percent were also affected.
Meanwhile, the agriculture office has officially recommended to Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd to declare Isabela province under a state of calamity, citing the huge losses in agricultural crops resulting from delayed effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
Tumamao said the PDAT-verified estimated damage on corn and palay may still increase while full harvest season is yet to come.
He added that placing Isabela under a state of calamity will allow the provincial government to use its calamity funds and other funds coming from other agencies to help farmers affected by the dry season.