Capitol eyes P2,500 aid to El Niño affected farmers

Wilting rice crops in Sipalay City.*OPA photo

The Negros Occidental provincial government is contemplating on giving financial assistance to farmers affected by the El Niño phenomenon, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Thursday, February 8.

Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, may experience a drought starting the end of February up to May, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Visayas said on Tuesday.

“It will be unfortunate for us”, the governor said.

The governor said he has directed provincial agriculturist Dr. Dina Genzola to come up with the list of farmers affected.

“They are now doing the survey and hopefully by next week we will have an idea how many are they,” he said.

“We are contemplating on giving them financial assistance that they can use for their next crop,” he said.

Lacson said the provincial government may be able to give only up to P2,500 per affected farmer.

“I don’t think that is really enough but I hope somehow that can mitigate their financial needs,” Lacson said.

Most of the farmers affected are those who depend on rain for their crops, he said.

“In fact they were not insured last year because they were already told not to plant this crop year because of the expected El Niño,” he said.

The dry spell has so far damaged P12,811,097 in rice crops affecting 374 farmers in seven local government units in Negros Occidental.

The seven LGUs are Isabela, Binalbagan, Moises Padilla, Cauayan. Hinoba-an and Sipalay City.

So far damage is being reported in the fifth and sixth districts, Lacson said.

Lacson said the provincial government is also considering cloud seeding to induce rains over affected agricultural lands.*

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