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1,500 hectares of rice fields affected by ‘Kabayan’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / December 21)—A total of 1,558 hectares of rice fields in Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental have been affected due to tropical storm “Kabayan,” an initial report from the Department of Agriculture – Davao Region (DA-Davao) stated.

A farmer sprays fertilizer on his rice crops in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental on Monday (1 May 2023). Farmers are still facing soaring prices of farm inputs and the possibility of below normal rainfall as the dry spell brought by El Niño is expected to begin in the next two to three months. (MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO)

A farmer works on his farm in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental. (MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO)

Joedel Leliza, DA-Davao regional disaster risk reduction and management focal person, said that based on their initial report, the damaged rice fields due to the tropical depression covered 892 hectares of rice fields in Davao de Oro and 665.8 hectares in Davao Oriental.

Initially reported damages were from affected municipalities in Mawab, Montevista, Compostela, and Laak in Davao de Oro and Lupon, Cateel, Manay, and Boston in Davao Oriental.

“It is important to consider that an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 metric tons of rice will be lost, and this does not even include the figures from Nabunturan and Compostela. Therefore, the total loss in metric tons will be significant,” Leliza said in the vernacular during a virtual interview Thursday.

“Our region’s rice plantation area is small but then it was damaged so it would really affect our local rice supply,” he added.

Leliza said the DA-Davao is ready to distribute buffer stock seedlings and rehabilitate damaged rice plantations through their rice programs, as they can fill in enough hectares to replant the damaged fields in Davao de Oro, for instance.

“We can see that our buffer stock program can still cover the loss since the rice crops are still in the seedling stage,” he pointed out.

However, they would have to request a quick response fund (QRF) for 2024 to support further rehabilitations since this year’s QRF “had been used up,” Leliza added.

Currently, DA-Davao has 3,000 bags of rice buffer stocks stored.

The report stated that 1,615 of Davao de Oro’s farmers working on 892 hectares of rice lands with mostly seedlings have been affected by Kabayan, with damages worth P4,854,320. Davao Oriental, meanwhile, has no available data at the moment.

Davao de Oro had a total of 76 hectares of damaged corn plantations worth P2,288,675, affecting 67 farmers. Davao Oriental had a total of 11 hectares of affected corn plantations.

Abel James Monteagudo, DA-Davao regional director, said earlier that despite some “delays,” interventions— such as seedlings, to replant if needed—will be delivered on time for the farmers. (Ian Carl Espinosa / MindaNews)

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2023/12/1500-hectares-of-rice-fields-affected-by-kabayan/ QR Code

Published Date: December 21, 2023

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