BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Supplies of agricultural products, especially rice, may be affected by the losses in agro-fisheries and livestock products due to severe flooding in Negros Occidental in the first two weeks of the month that now reached P78 million.
Flood damage to the rice industry in the province is already at P37 million, affecting 2,905 farmers, as of yesterday, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said.
Bago City, the largest rice producer in the province, is the latest local government unit to report losses in the rice industry at P17 million, that is the biggest, so far, he said.
Severe flooding devastated 2,366.4 hectares of farmlands, not only in Bago but also in the cities of Sagay, Victorias, Silay, Cadiz, Talisay, and Silay, and the towns of Manapla, Pontevedra, Valladolid, and EB Magalona.
Masculino stressed that if damage to the rice sector continues to increase, it is not farfetched that rice supply will be affected in the coming days.
Last week’s flooding alone already caused P37 million of damage in the rice sector, and that was higher than the value of the daily rice consumption of the province, Masculino said.
On the average, the daily rice consumption of Negros Occidental is at 20,000 bags, valued at P36 million, he said.
Floods also inundated 49.2 hectares of cornfield, destroying P1.1 million worth of corn products in 15 barangays in Sagay, affecting 58 farmers.
There were no additional losses reported in other high value crops, fishery and livestock products in the province due to flooding, as of yesterday.
The damage to high value crop products remained at P8.9 million, covering 28.64 hectares of farms in Sagay, Escalante, Talisay, and Silay, and affecting more than 300 farmers.
Some 111 hectares of ponds and fishing equipment were also destroyed and left P9.9 million in losses to at least a hundred fisherfolk from Cadiz, San Carlos, and EB Magalona. Irrigation damage was at P111,000 while losses in the animal industry stood at P8.5 million.*