CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela -- At least PHP101 million worth of agricultural crops have been destroyed by the drought in this province caused by a weak El Niño since the start of this year.
Dr. Angelo Naui, Isabela provincial agriculturist, said the damages cover PHP92 million of corn plants and PHP9 million of palay.
"The figures are increasing and we are validating the reports from the affected areas," he said.
Hardest-hit areas were Cauayan City and the eight towns of Tumauini, Sta Maria, Benito Soliven, Echague, San Mariano, Gamu, Burgos, and San Agustin.
Farms with sun-parched corn plants have reached a total of 18,664 hectares, with at least 17,300 hectares partially damaged and the remaining totally destroyed. The towns with affected farms include Sto. Tomas, Sta. Maria, Gamu, Naguillian, Echague, Angadanan and Cauayan City.
Most of the wilted crops are planted in rainfed farms and the lack of rain has contributed to the damage, Naui said.
The provincial government is mulling to give assistance to affected farmers, he added. (PNA)