El Nino Damage To Philippines Agriculture Hits $163 Mn

(MENAFN- IANS) Manila, May 22 (IANS) The damage caused by the El Nino dry spell and drought to Philippine Agriculture has reached 9.5 billion pesos (nearly $163 million), the Department of Agriculture said.

The El Nino weather phenomenon has left a trail of destruction, damaging 163,694 hectares of agricultural land in 13 regions across the country, and adversely affecting the livelihoods of at least 175,063 farmers and fisherfolk, the department said on Tuesday.

Damaged crops reached 426,798 metric tons in volume, data showed as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

El Nino, a climate pattern associated with extreme heat and drought, continues to weaken, but its impact is expected to persist until June.

The Philippines is now on high alert as it prepares for the potential arrival of La Nina, a weather pattern that could bring its own set of challenges to the already struggling agricultural sector in the Southeast Asian country.

El Nino occurs when seawater is warmer than usual, while La Nina is a large-scale cooling of sea surface temperatures in the central and equatorial Pacific Ocean.



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