TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here has reiterated its call to rice farmers in Eastern Visayas to adapt to climate-resilient practices to solve output drop.

One of the practices that Eastern Visayas farmers should do is to plant early maturing, high-yielding and stress-tolerant rice seed varieties as excessive rain could happen and may affect pollination while typhoons may cause lodging or falling over.

“Our call to farmers is to seek fertilizer application recommendation from agricultural extension workers to avoid excessive application of fertilizer,” the DA said in a statement Friday.

Farmers were urged to get an indemnity crop insurance claim from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation before planting and using postharvest types of machinery to reduce wastage.

The DA said high exposure to the effects of climate change remains a major factor that negatively affects the region’s agricultural output and productivity.
Recurrent natural hazards make Eastern Visayas one of the most disaster-prone areas in the country.

Records showed that eight typhoons caused an estimated PHP1.50 billion in damage to agricultural products from 2017 to 2021.

The region also faces other climate disaster-related risks, including drought, landslides, soil degradation, water shortages in some areas, and increased pests and diseases.

Eastern Visayas is a predominantly farming region with 1.17 million hectares of land area dedicated to agriculture and fisheries or 54.55 percent of its total land area.

About 19 percent of the land or 219,936 hectares is for annual crops including rice.

In 2022, the region recorded 840,345 metric tons (mt) of palay (unhusked rice) harvest. Last year’s production was lower than the 864,373 mt yield in 2021. (PNA)