Drought affects Php66.9-million worth of crops in South Cotabato town

Damage to crops due to the drought season continue to rise in South Cotabato, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist reports.
Early this week, figures from Surallah town alone reaches Php66.9 million affecting at least 1167 hectares of corn lands from 11 barangays.
These include the barangays of Buenavista, Lambontong, Canajay, Centrala, Colonggulo,Lamsugod, Moloy, Tubi-allah, Upper Sepaka, Veterans and Naci.
In Sto. Niño, the damage has reached Php2.3 million covering ten barangays covering 77 hectares of land which are in the vegetative stage.
Damage to rice crops, on the other hand, has reached Php10.9 millions covering 359 hectares.
In Banga, the initial report reveals that at least nine barangays were affected covering at least 670 hectares of various crops to include, rice, corn, cassava, banana, sweet potato, peanut, and papaya.
Provincial Agriculturist Justina Navarette said, they still await other reports from other towns in the province as only the three municipalities have submitted their initial reports.
The National Irrigation Administration advise residents to use water judiciously this season as supply is becoming scarce.
Irrigation Management Officer Orlando Tibang said, water level at Marbel 2 River Irrigation System which supplies water to Lutayan, Sulatan Kudarat and Koroanadal area with 789 hectares has reduced by almost 50 percent.
Marbel 1 RIS covering 1355 hectares which service Koronadal and Tantangan area also suffer the same fate.
So does other irrigation systems such as the Banga RIS and the Allah RIS Dam and 2.
Tibang recommends for the planting of more trees and reforestation to bring back the levels of water in the watershed areas, especially during drought season.