BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit urged the agriculture department to start extending available assistance to hundreds of farmers within the Mount Data plateau affected by the frost due to the continuous drop in the temperature triggered by the enhanced northeast monsoon.
The local chief executive claimed some farmers were documented by the local government to have been affected by frost as a result of the sudden drop in temperature in the Mount Data plateau thus the need for the agriculture department to start assessing the needed assistance for those affected to lessen the impact of the frost to their crops that are on their flowering, vegetative and harvestable stages.
“We should not wait for the situation to worsen before we act on the plight of our farmers for sufficient assistance from concerned government agencies for them to recover from the effects of frost to their crops,” Mayor Akilit stressed.
The Mount Data plateau is one of the highly elevated areas in Benguet and Mountain Province where frost can occur when thee is a significant drop in the temperature due to the enhanced northeast monsoon that hovers in most parts of northern Luzon from November to March.
According to him, the local government does not have sufficient resources to address the huge losses incurred by farmers whose crops have been damaged by frost.
Mayor Akilit emphasized concerned government agencies should not wait for the situation to worsen but to give the needed assistance to affected farmers soonest for them to recover from the effects of frost to their produce and stabilize the supply of vegetables in the market.
He admitted that the prevailing temperature in the Mount Data plateau is much lower than the prevailing temperature in other highly elevated areas in Benguet as it could go as low as zero degrees Celsius and this makes frosting possible to the detriment of the farmers in the plateau whose crops may be affected.
He revealed the municipal agriculture office is currently validating reports on the number of farmers whose crops have been damaged by frost so that the same could be submitted to the concerned agencies for the provision of assistance to allow them to recover, especially in highly elevated areas in the Benguet and Mountain Province areas.
Frost forms on top of the leaves of vegetables when the temperature drops to single digit and that the same must be immediately removed by spraying water because it will result to the wilting of the leaves once these are exposed to direct sunlight.
He pointed out that appropriate assistance must be extended to the affected farmers for them to be able to recover from the perennial frost problem that tends to affect the stability of supply of vegetables from the highly elevated areas during this time of the year.