P1483-M allotted for crop damages in 2 regions, say  

The national government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have set aside in P1.483 million as payout for farmers who suffered crop damages in Davao Region and Northern Mindanao.

In a data released by DA and UNDP, the payout was distributed to 178 farmers under the weather index based insurance (Wibi) program. The agency is constantly evaluating on the program’s effectiveness on the producers.

Rey Arthur Alamban, focal person of Wibi program for Northern Mindanao, said on Tuesday in the Wibi Assessment Forum at Marco Polo Davao Hotel that this is pursued to help the producers recover from having crop damages due to erratic climatic conditions.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) also approved the additional P2 million premium subsidy for another 2,000 enrollees until June 30. As of last year, a total of 2,413 farmers in Northern Mindanao and Davao Region have been enrolled in the program and 2,743 hectares were insured since 2015.

“In Mindanao, this first started in Agusan del Norte in 2012. It eventually expanded in Northern Mindanao and Davao Region as these are rich with agricultural produce like vegetables, corn and rice. The program is fitting here as Mindanao is vulnerable to natural calamities,” Alamban said.

Under the Wibi, insured are farmers who are affected by excess rainfall and low rainfall. The amount coverage is P20,000 per hectare, which is sufficient to cover the input costs of production.

The premiums include P1,390 per hectare for low and excess rainfall and P694 per hectare for irrigated lands that are affected by excess rainfall. As the program is still in pilot test phase, this is 100% subsidy for the farmers from PCIC.

In a briefer of Wibi, “Wibi Mindanao project targets farmers in Northern Mindanao and Davao regions that often experience substantial losses at the postharvest stage of agricultural production and are disadvantaged due to wet regional climate.”

“Furthermore, these farmers have little or no access to drying and storage facilities, which also contributes to decreased productivity, lower bargaining power and eventually lower income from their livelihoods,” it added.

The WIBI, as cited in a statement from DA, “is linked to an index such as rainfall. Unlike the losses under the traditional crop insurance scheme, the insurer does not need to visit farmer’s field. The payout is based on the amount of rainfall, if it is below or above the set thresholds.”

The insurance can be availed from financial service providers like First Valley Bank, Cantilan Bank and King Cooperative.

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