Philippines: Unusual weather damages Kidapawan banana plantations

The unusual weather condition in the past three days has damaged more than PHP5-million (€85,500) worth of banana plants in at least 15 of 40 villages there. Marisa Aton, acting city agriculturist, said farmers from the affected villages reported that strong winds, accompanied by a heavy downpour, that have hit the city since Wednesday, have destroyed ready-to-harvest bananas.

“Field technicians of the city agriculture office are still in the field gathering information as to additional damages,” she told reporters. Aton added that a banana plantation owner in Barangay Sumbac reported to them that the prevailing strange weather condition has destroyed PHP700,000 (€12,000) worth of his banana plants with its fruits ready for harvest next week.

In a separate interview, a banana farmer in Barangay Amas told that the weather these past few days have been ‘extra unusual’: “It’s so hot in the morning but suddenly a heavy downpour coupled with strong winds would occur in the afternoon.”

Aton said banana plantation owners, who insured their farms with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., would certainly receive financial assistance: “Some plantation owners opted not to get insurance coverage, thus they are at the losing end when calamity strikes.”

Last February, this city was placed under a state of calamity due to the dry spell that prompted the local government to release an PHP18-million (€307,700) calamity fund to the affected communities. The strange weather here came a day after a freak tornado destroyed more than 200 homes in Tacurong City.

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