The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional office has urged rice farmers in the region to harvest their palay before Tropical Depression “Ambo” affects the region starting Thursday, May 14.
Emily Bordado, DA Bicol information chief, said that farmers can harvest their palay or unhusked rice if it is already 80 to 85 percent ripe.
She said that DA Bicol is offering its two combined harvester or thresher in Pili, Camarines Sur to help the farmers in fast tracking their harvests. 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 farmers’ rice farms, so we are helping them through offering our machineries,” she said.
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 urged 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.
Bordado said 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)