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Agricultural damage caused by drought climbs to 96 million USD in Philippines

Christian Fernsby |
The Department of Agriculture of the Philippines said Tuesday that damage to rice and corn farms due to the prolonged drought brought about by El Nino phenomenon has reached 5.05 billion pesos (roughly 96.16 million U.S. dollars).

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The department in the Philippines said the weather phenomenon has so far affected 164,672 farmers and 177,743 hectares of land as of Tuesday.

"Everyday that passes where there is no rain, there will be greater damage, and so the total damage to crops, mainly rice and corn, has breached the 5-billion level," Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol in the Philippines said.

The department in the Philippines said a total of 108,845 rice farmers in 37 provinces and 55,827 corn farmers in 17 provinces were affected by the drought or dry spell that started ravaging the Philippine since late last year.

Several provinces in the Philippines are expected to experience dry spell conditions from March till May or June, according to the country's weather bureau in its latest advisory.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the country will experience "below normal to way below normal rainfall," particularly in the main Luzon island, Visayas region in the central Philippines and northern Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

It said the prolonged dry spell will last until June this year.

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