By: Luel Galarpe
CEBU CITY – Damage to crops brought about by the mild El Niño in the 28 upland barangays of Cebu City has reached PHP27.5 million, the City Agriculture Department said Thursday.
City Agriculturist Apple Tribunalo said the cost of the damage caused by the dry spell has almost doubled from the PHP14.9 million recorded last month.
Also, 668 farmers have been affected, she noted.
As the main problem in the upland barangays is lack of water, some farmers have reportedly dug up additional wells to somehow address the water shortage.
“There are still water sources in the upland barangays that have not yet dried up, but some farmers have made an effort to look for additional water sources by digging other wells,” Tribunalo told the Philippine News Agency.
Based on the City Agriculture Department’s latest assessment report, damage to 22.1 hectares of tomato farms was pegged at PHP4,309,500, the highest among the affected crops.
At least 95 metric tons of leafy lettuce worth PHP3.3 million and 9.5 hectares of cut flower worth PHP3.1 million were also damaged.
Other heavily affected crops include sweetcorn at PHP2.475 million, eggplant at PHP2,447,060, head lettuce at PHP2.244 million, and hot pepper at PHP2 million.
Tribunalo said they have already distributed to the affected farmers 1,200 plastic drums for water storage, 500 hoses, 150 power sprayers, and some polyethylene liners for water impounding.
No livestock death due to heat stroke has been reported so far. (PNA)