Thursday Nov, 30 2023 03:41:01 AM

Maguindanao under state of calamity due to drought, rodent attacks

AGRICULTURE • 16:33 PM Tue Feb 2, 2016
Ferdinandh Cabrera
An elderly farmer in South Upi, Maguindanao turn to kayos (wild jam) as food become scarce due to drought. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

BULUAN, Maguindanao – The entire province of Maguindanao has been declared under state of calamity due to rising cost of damages brought about by the dry spell, Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu today said.Mangudadatu, chair of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, said the provincial legislative body has approved his recommendation to declare state of calamity in Maguindanao’s 35 municipalities to cushion the impact of dry spell. Our initial report on damages showed close to P120 million have been destroyed by the dry spell and rat attacks, Mangudadatu told reporters. The effects of dry spell have been massive, I expect to receive complete reports within the day on the total cost of damages to crops,” Mangudadatu said in Filipino. We have reports our farmers have suffered much on the dry spell, most farmers have nothing to harvest from their palay and corn fields,” he added.Some farmers in the upland towns have resorted to eating wild jam, a very poisonous crop if not cleansed and cooked well.The elders have started looking for wild jam, locally known as Kayos,” to have something on their dining tables.Aling Maria, a 70-year-old farmer in Barangay Kuya, South Upi, Maguindanao, was seen harvesting wild jam, washed it and sliced for drying. sand// The woman said wild jam is highly poisonous if not prepared well. We resort to eating wild jam as last option if no food is available,” she said.With corn crops already dry or taken over by rat infestation, farmers have no recourse but to take wild jam and similar crops. When our farmers resort to eating wild jam, it shows no other foods are available for them,” Mangudadatu said, adding that he recommended the declaration of state of calamity so this early we can respond.”The governor dispatched teams to seriously affected communities, South Upi among them, to extend emergency assistance. I think the drought now is worst compared in1997 when food and water was very scarce,” he said, referring to one of the country’s worst dry spell.

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