Engr. Apollo Pacamalan, Misamis Oriental Provincial Agriculture Research Office. (PNA photo by Ercel Maandig)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Some 100,000 farmers in Misamis Oriental lost an average of PHP300 to PHP400 million worth of income because of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Provincial Agriculture Research Office (PAGRO) said Wednesday.

Apollo Pacamalan, PAGRO chief, said the estimated losses cover the three-month period when the state of health emergency was imposed in the country, followed by the declaration of a general community quarantine all over the country in March.

Pacamalan said small farmers in the province earn an average of PHP8,000 to PHP9,000 monthly income, which dropped 30 to 40 percent--or PHP3,000 to PHP4,000--because of the pandemic.

"To address that their agriculture products will go to the urban centers, the provincial government of Misamis Oriental facilitated mobile equipment and facilities to transport the goods from farm villages to markets in urban centers in order for them to survive and cope with the said losses," Pacamalan said.

He said Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano has already ordered several interventions to ease the impact of the health crisis on farmers, such as the distribution of planting materials, seedlings, fertilizers, and post-harvest facilities.

Farmers also received financial assistance and other loan packages from the national government, he added.

Meanwhile, Pacamalan said PAGRO has also distributed chemicals for the control of fall armyworms that damaged 85 corn farmers, between June 12 and 17. The farmer-beneficiaries come from Sugbongcogon, Claveria, Binuangan, Tagoloan, Opol, and Alubijid towns.

In Opol town, he said 61 farmers and six returning overseas Filipino workers also availed of corn, vegetable seeds, and organic fertilizers.

PAGRO, he said, also procured 23,524 coconut planting materials, and established coco-seed nut nurseries in Alubijid, Balingasag, Binuangan, and Tagoloan towns that would benefit about a thousand farmers. (PNA)