(File photo)

The damage caused by the recent El Niño dry spell to the city’s agriculture sector has turned out to be more than what was initially thought, the city agriculture office admitted this week.

Enera Tuibeo, city assistant agriculturist, told reporters Wednesday they had initially assessed 97 farmers whose livelihood had been affected during the El Niño period of January to April.

She said their latest assessment as of June 26, however, has shown that there are already 1,000 farmers affected.

She explained that the number of affected farmers had increased because they had to consider those whose farms were eventually affected by the drought and those who were unable to plant during the period.

“Iyong [earlier] report na 97 ay ‘yon lang mga farmers at that time ng assessment namin na may damage. Pero ‘yong may mga tanim na wala kaming nakitang damage, hindi iyon na-consider [pa] as affected at [ganoon na rin] ‘yong hindi mga nakapag-tanim. Kumbaga, hindi nakita na affected [sila before], hindi nakita na maaapektuhan dahil meron pa silang water source, [then] later on [pala] may [mga] nasira pa,” Tuibeo said.

Tuibeo said they are still evaluating the value of the crop damage for this latest report. In their April assessment, she said they estimated the damage at P5.8 million.

She also said that they had increased from 10 to 32 the number of city barangays that were affected.

The breakdown of the affected farmers released by the city agriculture office is as follows: 32 from Brgy. Bacungan; 24 in Sta. Cruz; 98 in Cabayugan; 39 in Irawan; 49 in Sicsican; 6 in Luzviminda; 7 in Mangingisda; 27 in Inagawan; 23 in Inagawan-Sub; 46 in Kamuning; 15 in Salvacion; 57 in Bahile, 37 in Macarascas; 39 in Maruyogon; 66 in Manalo; 12 in Binduyan; 19 in Langogan; 17 in Lucbuan; 11 in Maoyon; 2 in Tanabag; 2 in Concepcion; 7 in San Rafael; 16 in Babuyan; 28 in Bagong Bayan; 105 in Napsan; 37 in Simpokan; 8 in Sta. Monica; 8 in San Jose; 38 in Sta. Lourdes; 8 in Tagburos; 23 in Buenavista, and 18 in Tagabinet.

Meanwhile, Tuibeo said their office has been providing assistance to the affected farmers..

“As a public servant naroon ‘yong pag-aalala. Alam natin ‘yong hirap ng mga farmers,” said Tuibeo.