In response to the prolonged dry spell, the Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office gave out seeds from the Department of Agriculture to local farmers. The towns of Igbaras, Tubungan, Tigbauan, Santa Barbara, Zarraga, Janiuay, Lambunao, Calinog, Dueñas, Barotac Nuevo, San Rafael, and Banate were primary recipients.
According to Elias Sandig, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist, the Department of Agriculture has alloted 17,000 bags of rice seeds, 400 bags of inbreed, and 12,600 hybrid seeds, and only towns that have reached 60 to 100 percent degree of damage were granted the assistance. With this, the towns of Lemery, Cabatuan, and New Lucena, were not included in the list. Beneficiaries were assessed and validated by the chairman on Agriculture.
As of date, 40 of the 43 local government units in the province had already received their seeds. The seeds will be utilized for the second cropping this month of September.
Based on the damage assessment of the Provincial Agriculture Office, a total of 7,495 hectares were totally damaged within the province and 19,568 hectares were partially damaged during the El Niňo phenomenon.
El Niňo is an abnormal weather pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean near the equator. The phenomenon is the usual culprit to losses in crops. In the recent El Niňo phenomenon, damages amounted to Php 7.96 billion in agricultural losses.