The City Agriculturist Office reported yesterday that some 443 hectares of agricultural crops have been affected with an estimated cost of damage reaching P7.899 million.
In her report to Mayor Beng Climaco, Acting City Agriculturist Carmencita Sanchez said a total of 518 farmers from both Districts I and II have been affected by the drought spawned by the weak El Niño for the period February 27 to March 25, 2019.
Hardest hit are ricefields covering 226.40 hectares and estimated cost of damage at P4.024M, followed by commercial/ plantation crops covering 79.91 hectares with damage valued at P1.110M.
Also affected were 8.60 hectares of fishponds with prawns and bangus with estimated damage at P774,000; 22 hectares of cornfields with a total value of over P582K; 41 hectares of industrial crops with an estimated value of P481,200; 64 hectares of areas planted with seaweeds with value estimated at P112,000 and 3 hectares of cassava plantation with value estimated at P8,100.
Barangays mostly affected cover the districts of Ayala, Manicahan and Vitali.
On the other hand, water level monitoring conducted by the City Agriculturist Office reveal that communal irrigation systems in Lunzuran, Boalan, Cabaluay, Bolong, Licopon (Bolong), Tagasilay and Tumalutap are in highly critical condition due to the continuous dry spell.
Sanchez said her office in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is now preparing assistance for the affected farmers with funds coming from the calamity funds of the city in view of the declaration of Zamboanga under a state of calamity. (Sheila Covarrubias)