The Office of the City Agriculturist is keeping a close watch on crops for possible infestation and damage from pests and diseases due to the weak El Niño,
In their report to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) meeting last May, the Office of the City Agriculturist said that a dry spell followed by rainy seasons often bring about infestation of pests and diseases that can affect crop production and yields.
On the OCA watch-list are pests such as the corn borer, wide-stem and dark-headed stem borer which target rice, black bug, and army worms. Diseases such as rice tungro virus and bacterial leaf blight are also on watch.
These pests and diseases target corn and rice.
Mayor Beng Climaco urged the OCA to closely monitor the situation to prevent infestation of the city’s crops.
The OCA has reported a total of P 9.8M crop and fishery damage from the weak El Niño as of May 24.
A total of 8,177 farmers and fisherfolks have been affected by the weak El Niño. Of this number, 634 were those who were able to plant and incurred crop damage, and 7,543 were those who were not able to plant.
Mayor Climaco has immediately directed fast tracking local government assistance for the agricultural sector, particularly the provision of rice for farmers and the delivery of farm inputs and seeds and the P 32M worth of farm assistance.
Rice incurred the highest damage with P 4M, followed by commercial plantation crops and assorted vegetables.
The fishery sector suffered a little over P 1M damage. (Jasmine Mohammadsali)(photos: Kathy Wee Sit/FILE)