The El Niño has already caused about Php 464.27 million worth of damages in the agriculture sector of the Philippines.
Department of Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol said that the severe drought has affected at least 16,034 corn and rice farmers in MIMAROPA, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
While the production of agricultural crops decreased, Pinol stressed that the damages of El Niño can be considered minimal since it entered the Philippines near the end of the harvest season.
Meanwhile, Pinol has already directed DA Operations Usec. Ariel Cayanan to order the regional offices to implement cloud seeding operations, and to coordinate with the Philippine Air Force.
The DA secretary also assured their preparedness to release crop insurance to farmers affected by the El Niño.