PASTRANA, Leyte- About 85 farmers from this town have suffered a massive decline in their income due to insect infestation on their farms.
Records from the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) disclosed that the palay infestation was caused by stem borer, an insect larva that bores into plant stems, affecting 102.2 hectares in 12 barangays.
Melanie Marilla who has a three-hectare of palay farm in Barangay Jones, said that the infestation has resulted in the loss of their income.
“We really feel bad on this infestation as this resulted in the decline of our income. Before the infestation, we could harvest 264 sacks of palay but now during our November harvest, our yield only reached to 32 sacks,” the mother of two children said.
A sack of palay could be sold at P600 which this means, Marilla lost close to P140,000, a huge amount for small farmers.
Melinda Barillo, agricultural technologist of Pastrana, said that the infestation which was noted last year, has affected 12 barangays.
These are the villages of Dumarag, Cankaraja, Colawen, Yapad, Aringit, Arabunog, Maricum, Lima, Sapsap, Calsadahay, Jones, and Socsocon which sustained the heaviest damage with 21 farmers covering 22.7 hectares.
Barillo said that they have already reported this infestation at the regional office of the Department of Agriculture for a possible assistance to the affected farmers.
It was learned from her that there were farmers who received financial assistance from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) as they were able to file their insurance claims with the said office.