Land preparation and planting in palay farms continued in both irrigated and rainfed areas. Corn planting was also in progress all over the region. In Aklan, farmers were busy in fertilizer application and spraying of pesticides in their palay farms. Standing palay crops in the region, especially those that were on reproductive and maturing stages were growing well and are expected to have better yield. Scattered harvesting of palay was noted in the region. In Antique, 275 has. of irrigated palay areas were harvested while in Iloilo, about 1,200 has. of irrigated and 1,700 has. of rainfed palay areas were harvested.
Scattered harvesting of corn was noticed in the region. Corn production is expected to decline due to shifting back to sugarcane by some farmers.
Rat infestation was reported in the region. In Iloilo, 3,000 has. of palay farms were affected and 1 ha. was totally damaged. In Capiz, rats were also reportedly infesting some farms although this was minimal.
About 30 has. of mongo were planted in Miagao and San Joaquin, Iloilo. Vigorous growth of sugarcane, vegetables and other crops was noted in Negros Occidental. Harvesting of fruits and vegetables was also noted in the region. About 1 ha. pineapple farm was harvested in Sebaste, Antique with an estimated yield of 2.30 mt. Abundant harvests of avocado and santol were noted in Capiz.
Vegetable harvesting was going on in Iloilo. About 8 has. of squash were harvested with an average production of 10 mt. per hectare. Likewise, about 1 ha. of bell pepper and 1 ha. of finger pepper were harvested in the province with average production of 1,500 kilograms and 1,400 kilograms, respectively. About a hectare of ginger was harvested in Igbaras, with an estimated production of 3,000 kilograms.
2. LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY
Aklan imported cattle and hogs for slaughter from Antique and Iloilo. Likewise, dressed chicken and chicken eggs were supplied by Capiz and Iloilo.
In Sta. Barbara, Iloilo Abattoir, 106 head of cattle, 411 head of carabaos, 591 head of hogs were slaughtered with respective carcass weights of 6,680, 3,575, and 27,110 kilograms. Likewise, in Pavia, about 56 head of cattle, 18 head of carabaos and 230 head of hogs were slaughtered with carcass weights of 5,508, 2,392 and 11,260 kilograms, respectively.
A Breeding Farm was newly established in New Lucena, Iloilo with a present stock of 24,000 head layers which originated from Europe. This was a contract grower of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). About 1% started laying eggs and by October, about 70% of the stocks are expected to lay eggs.
Supply of fish and marine products in Aklan was adequate. The regularly sold species were galunggong, tuna, bisugo, scads, skipjacks and other in-season species. Additional supplies came from neighboring provinces and through RORO.
In Guimaras, the volume of fish unloadings increased in the different municipal fish landing centers of San Lorenzo and Sibunag where several filter nets were used. Huge volumes of anchovies and assorted fishes were caught. An average of 5 boxes (30 kilograms) per day was reportedly caught per filter net. Other fish species such as garfish, halfbeak, rays and crabs were also abundant.
In Negros Occidental, there was less volume of unloadings at the municipal marine fish landing centers. This was attributed to low supply of marine products with the series of typhoons and low pressure areas that affected fishing activities. On the other hand, aquaculture products such as bangus and tilapia were sufficiently available in the markets.
In Antique, 7,000 pieces of freshwater tilapia fingerlings were disposed by Judge Ernesto Estoya of Abiera, Sebaste to three (3) tilapia raisers in Tibiao at P2.00 per fingerling.
In Capiz, some commercial fishing boats diverted fish landing in Culasi Port when the Roxas City Fish Landing Center became crowded due to simultaneous landings. Diwal (Angel Wings Shell) harvesting was widely undertaken. About 20 hectares of fishpond areas in Roxas City were being converted to a subdivision/commercial area.
4. PRICES AND MARKET SUPPLY
Rice supply in Capiz remained sufficient as evidenced by stocks inventoried at the household level. Similarly, sufficient supply of the commodity was observed in the markets of Guimaras despite the start of lean months due to higher production level this year. Leafy vegetables like lupo, gabi with stalk, kangkong and camote tops were sufficient in the market due to favourable rainshowers.
In Aklan, vegetables like ampalaya, stringbeans and squash recorded price increments since there was insufficient supply due to monsoon rains and wind during fruiting stage.
In Capiz, supply of Diwal was abundant, thus, retail prices dropped by 50%; i.e., from last month's P160.00 to P220.00 per kilogram to P60.00 to P150.00 per kilogram this month.
5. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, PROGRAMS, POLICIES AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS
In Aklan, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) reported that brontispa infestation was under control. According to the report, coconut and oil palm in Boracay Island and nearby municipalities have become healthier, greener fronds. Using better and environmentally-safer way of combating infestation through parasitoids destroyed the eggs of brontispa.
In Aklan, deworming and vaccination against common diseases on livestock and other animals were among the activities undertaken in most municipalities of the province.
About 41 piglets and 700 kabir chicks were distributed to the recipients of Talisay and Ilog Cities in Negros Occidental. The animal dispersal included kabir chicks, grimaud and dominant CZ chicks, swine for fattening, upgraded bucks and does. These were provided as livelihood project to different sectors like church leaders, youth, farmers and small cooperatives. This was in line with the program of the provincial government through the Provincial Veterinary Office.
6. TRAINING, SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS
The on-going Palay Check System Farmers' Field School in San Jose, Antique was being participated in by 50 farmer-participants for 16 weeks. This was being conducted by the DA-LGU and the Agricultural Training Institute.
In Iloilo, the 2nd Batch of Cash for Work Program of the Local Government Unit of Cabatuan for the indigents was jointly undertaken by DSWD and the Department of Agriculture. The indigents were trained to perform activities such as cleaning of irrigation canal, planting trees, vegetable gardening, and other activities for the improvement of their respective barangays. The purpose of this program is to augment the income of the less privileged or unemployed residents of said municipality.
7. WEATHER SITUATION
Generally fair weather was observed in the region during the reference period. However, cloudy skies with scattered light to heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms occurred especially during afternoon and early morning towards the end of the month with the occurrence of weather disturbances.