NAGA CITY - About 5, 563 hectares of ricelands in six provinces in the Bicol region are affected by the dry spell, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) yesterday said.
NIA spokesperson Eduardo Yu said lowering of water level in the NIA’s dams, rivers and lake sources in the region were observed in the recent weeks.
Yu said the dry spell is affecting 1, 773 hectares of ricelands in Camarines Sur; in Masbate, 1,682 hectares of rice fields are experiencing drought; in Albay - 1,438 hectares; Sorsogon - 190 hectares; Camarines Norte - 480 hectares, and Catanduanes - 30 hectares.
Yu said that in Libmanan-Cabusao, the biggest rice production area in Camarines Sur, only 2,195 hectares will be irrigated this dry cropping season.
Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte on Wednesday declared a state of calamity for the provincial government to use the 5% calamity fund to assist farmers during El Niño.
Provincial agriculturist Nelia Teves said that in Catanduanes, dry spell has affected 346 hectares of ricelands and lands with high-value crops, with loses to crops now reaching P9.9 million.
Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua appealed to the Department of Agriculture to help provide seeds and shallow-water pumps for farmers in the affected municipalities of San Andres Panganiban and the capital town of Virac.