No rice, vegetable shortage in Pangasinan

DESPITE P2.7-M DAMAGE TO AGRI

LINGAYEN— Despite the P2.7-billion total damage to agriculture in the province due to the successive monsoon rains and Typhoon Ompong that recently hit Pangasinan, the provincial agriculture office said the province still has ample supply of rice and vegetables and other high value crops.

Nestor Batalla, the assistant provincial agriculturist, gave this update, culled from data submitted by the municipal agriculturist, to the provincial board during its Question Hour on Sept. 24.

He said damage to agriculture reached P1.1- billion after the habagat (monsoon rains) in July and August, and  another P1.6-billion worth of palay, vegetables and other high-value crops were destroyed by Typhoon Ompong.

He pointed out that despite expected decrease in palay harvest, the province has achieved 208% rice sufficiency level, a level way above the needs or consumption of Pangasinenses.

Batalla said Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol advised the governors of typhoon-affected provinces, including Pangasinan, on the progress of efforts to rehabilitate farmlands.

In Pangasinan, the monsoon rains destroyed crops (July – August), the DA helped rehabilitate about 32,000 hectares out of the 166,000 hectares of farmland in the province through the distribution of P180-million worth of certified and hybrid palay seeds.

The provincial government gave its counterpart assistance of 12,000 bags of fertilizer worth P18-million.

But ‘Ompong’, however, destroyed the 32,000 hectares again. And worse, 14,000 hectares in maturing stage of palay were also damaged, he said.

Meanwhile, Batalla said the Office of Provincial Agriculturist already submitted a rehabilitation plan for possible intervention to Piñol during dry season for the second crop.

The plan requested DA to rehabilitate 46,000 hectares that will require a provision of 46,000 bags of certified palay seeds and 86,000 bags of fertilizer in addition to shallow tube wells, repair of the communal irrigation system, grant of various vegetable seeds, bangus and tilapia fingerlings. (PhilStar wire service)

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