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El Niño destroys P16-M palay in Negros

The office of the provincial agriculture (OPA) on Friday said the P16.67-million losses on crop damage and production covered at least 901 hectares of farmlands and affected 859 rice farmers in 24 villages of Hinigaran and Hinoba-an towns. AP file photo

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – El Niño has destroyed about P16.7 million worth of palay in two municipalities in Negros Occidental.

The office of the provincial agriculture (OPA) on Friday said the P16.67-million losses on crop damage and production covered at least 901 hectares of farmlands and affected 859 rice farmers in 24 villages of Hinigaran and Hinoba-an towns.

Dina Genzola, OPA senior agriculturist, said the amount of damage might still increase as assessment and validation of farms in other areas of the province have yet to be completed.

Genzola said the provincial government would identify affected farmers who are covered by the Negros first universal crop insurance program.

Insured rice farmers may avail of the P17,000 claims per hectare of farms damaged and affected by the dry spell.

Aside from crop damage and production losses, the dry spell has affected the water level in the Bago River irrigation system.

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The local office of the National Irrigation Administration in Bago City recently recorded a 40-centimeter drop in the water level.

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