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P55.3M worth of Davao-Region crops destroyed by El Niño

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DAVAO CITY — About P55.3 million worth of crops in Davao Region were reported to have been destroyed due to the dry spell brought about by the current El Niño.

Roy Jose C. Pascua, Department of Agriculture-Disaster Risk Reduction Management focal person, said over the weekend that the most severe damage was sustained by Matanao, Magsaysay, Hagonoy, Kiblawan and Bansalan, all in Davao del Sur, with about 2,000 hectares affected.

“We have deployed open-source water pumps for irrigation,” he said, adding that the next contingency plan involves cloud seeding.

In Davao City, Councilor Marissa S. Abella, chair of the committee on agriculture, proposed the adoption of drip irrigation systems to help farmers.

Ms. Abella also urged farmers to adopt new technology to combat drought and improve production.

“We have to upgrade our agriculture practices by exposing them to new technologies. Among those is drip irrigation,” she said, citing a farm in the Paquibato district that is using the system for its Cavendish banana crop.




A hectare of farmland would need about P70,000 worth of investment to set up a drip irrigation system, including the reservoir and other mechanisms. — Carmelito Q. Francisco