By Casandra E. Balala
LEGAZPI CITY, May 12 —The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 5 urges rice farmers in Bicol to harvest their “palay” before Tropical Depression "Ambo" affects the region come May 14, 2020.
Emily Bordado, DA Bicol Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section Chief, said that farmers can harvest their palay or unhusked rice if it is already 80 to 85 percent ripe.
She added that DA Bicol offers its two combined harvester or thresher in Pili, Camarines Sur to help the farmers in fast tracking its harvest. Aside from that, there are also combined harvester available in its stations in Asid, Masbate City; Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte; Cabid-an, Sorsogon City; and Camalig, Albay.
“The heavy rains which might cause floods will surely affect or damage our farmer’s rice plantation, so we are helping them through offering our machineries,” she stated.
Bordado explained that DA Bicol will shoulder the crude oil for the machineries first and the farmers can pay for it after the harvest period depending on the agreements.
Meanwhile, she also encourages farmers to immediately dry their harvested palay at flatbed dryers in different cooperatives, associations and local government units in the region. She added that farmers should go to the nearest Rice Processing Center in their area.
Farmers should also cover their stocked palay, seeds and fertilizers with laminated sacks, she said.
On the other hand, Bordado affirmed that rice and corn farmers may receive crop insurance if their farms are damaged by the typhoon.
“That is why we advise the farmers to register first at the Philippine Crops Insurance Corporation before they plant in their farms,” she said.
She added that DA Bicol has enough supply of seeds for the rehabilitation of farmers after the typhoon. (PIA5/CEB)