Fertilizers now ready for drought-stricken farmers

The city government of Zamboanga is expected to distribute within this week some 7,200 bags of inorganic fertilizers to all farmers affected by the drought as a result of the weather phenomenon called El Niño that hit this city from March to May, this year.

City Agriculturist Carmencita Sanchez said with the fertilizers the farmers are expected to increase their rice production by 30% in the next cropping season.

She said the drought-stricken farmers will receive within this week 7,200 bags of inorganic fertilizers, of which 4,000 bags are classified as 14-14 or complete fertilizers and 3,200 bags are 46-00 or Urea fertilizers.

The fertilizers have already been delivered to the different Agriculture Field Offices (AFOs) from Ayala to Vitali, and ready for inspection and eventual distribution to the recipients.

Another assistance amounting to P40 million agri-fisheries modernization fund has just been bidded out and the winning bidder is now in the process of acquisition for all the inputs that include knapsack sprayers, organic fertilizers, water hoses, paneling films, urban gardening tools for 30 barangays, seaweed seedlings, bangus fries, and hook and lines.

Farmers’ wives, women’s groups and members of 4H Club will also receive portable oven and stoves for their livelihood activities.

The P3 million allocation for the purchase of 1,300 bags of registered rice seeds and 4,092 kilos of assorted vegetable seeds have already been bidded out together with the P2 million drilling of deep wells.

The drilling rigs will be put up in different sites: 1 site in Tumaga district, 3 sites in Ayala district, 11 sites in Culianan district, 3 sites in Manicahan district, being the most affected by the dry spell, 1 site in Curuan district and 1 site in Vitali district.

Meanwhile, Sanchez reported during the press briefing last Monday that the three-month El Nino had damaged (as of May 19) a total of P9,862,724.70 worth of assorted crops from rice, corn, vegetables to commercial/industrial crops, seaweeds, prawns and bangus.

The number of affected farmers totaled 7,923, of whom 467 were severely affected. Already, the farmers had received 6 kilos of rice each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and 3 kilos rice each from the city government.-(Vic Larato)