Hundreds of rice farmers in Negros Occidental have reported losses due to prolonged dry spell associated with El Niño. (PNA Bacolod file photo)
BACOLOD CITY -- The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) has received notices of loss from about 400 rice farmers in Negros Occidental province whose farms have been affected by the prevailing dry spell associated with El Niño.
Dina Genzola, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), said Friday these farmers are enrolled under the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program (NFUCIP), which provides indemnity claims as mitigating measure for those affected by calamities.
Genzola advised them to immediately file a notice of loss once their crops are damaged, and upon filing, adjusters will evaluate their farms.
She said the number of farmers who will file notices of loss is expected to increase as dry weather continues to affect the agricultural areas of Negros Occidental.
As of this week, 445 farmers in five local government units have incurred losses of almost PHP16 million from 408.53 hectares of rice farms due to prolonged dry spell.
The OPA also reported almost PHP12 million in crop losses brought by pests, particularly black bugs and rice grain bugs.
The NFUCIP is an initiative of the provincial government, in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), which began in 2011.
Under the modified guidelines, enrollment premium per cropping season remains at PHP840, but the whole amount will now be shouldered by the provincial government as a loan.
Through the NFUCIP, farmers may avail themselves of the PHP17,000 claim per hectare of damaged farms.
Enrollees should apply for insurance before planting. Farms covered by the program are those planted for not less than 25 days. (PNA)