El Nino pattern costs Philippine agriculture over US$68mil in losses

ANILA (Xinhua): The El Nino dry spell and drought damage to Philippine agriculture has reached over 3.94 billion pesos (US$68 million), official data released by the government has showed

According to the Department of Agriculture, 11 regions across the South-East Asian country are reeling from the weather phenomenon, which has affected nearly 74,000 farmers and fisherfolk.

More than 66,000 hectares of farmlands were affected, including 15,000 hectares of these farmlands having no chance of recovery.

In terms of volume, the department recorded 162,793 metric tons of production loss in rice, corn, and other agricultural produce. The rice is the most affected crop, with a total value loss of 2.36 billion pesos (US$41 million) from 43,659 hectares of affected rice fields.

The El Nino weather phenomenon continues to weaken in the Philippines, while the opposite La Nina weather pattern is expected with high possibility between June and August this year.

El Nino occurs when seawater is warmer than usual, while La Nina is a large-scale cooling of sea surface temperatures in the central and equatorial Pacific Ocean. - XInhua

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