NEGROS OCCIDENTAL — The provincial government of Negros Occidental has announced plans to assist rice farmers affected by an ongoing dry spell, with reported agricultural losses reaching PHP12.8 million.

According to Philippines News Agency, assistance will be directed towards farmers in seven local government units who have suffered significant crop damage due to the lack of rainfall. Lacson, in a recent media interview, revealed that Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II has been tasked with identifying available funds to support the impacted rice farmers.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) disclosed on Tuesday that the agricultural damage has impacted 373 rice farmers across 346 hectares of rice lands within 36 villages, primarily in upland areas. The damaged crops are reported to be in various stages of growth, from vegetative to ready for harvest. The cities of Himamaylan and Sipalay, along with the municipalities of Isabela, Binalbagan, Hinobaan, Moises Padilla, and Cauayan, have been identified as the areas most affected by the dry conditions.

Acting Provincial Agriculturist Dina Genzola noted the absence of rainfall in the southern cities and municipalities, contrasting with the varied precipitation levels experienced in other regions of the province. The provincial government's commitment to providing relief underscores the challenges faced by the agricultural sector in Negros Occidental, highlighting the efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of unpredictable weather patterns on local farmers.

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