May 25, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

More than 7,000 rice and corn farmers in the Cordillera are suffering from the adverse impacts of the El Niño, which was declared in July 2023 and was forecasted to last until May this year.

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Operations Center has reported the production losses have reached P444,712,835.42 as of March 22.

The data showed the corn sector is heavily impacted with P411,336,612 reported production losses from the 5,896 farmers who were affected.

Damage to the rice sector reached P33,376,022 with 1,912 farmers affected.

Farmers in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and Paracelis, Mountain Province are the most affected in the corn sector.

For the rice sector, the report showed Kalinga and Mountain Province had the most number of farmers affected with P51,139,750 and P160,510,892 worth of production losses, respectively.

In Tabuk City, Kalinga, Mayor Darwin Estranero said in a forum last week he was still waiting for the recommendation of the City Agriculture Office if there is a need to declare the city under a state of calamity.

A total of 184 farmers in the province were recorded in the DA-Cordillera DRRM report to have been affected by El Niño.