Negros Occidental’s Organic Sugar Production Decreases by 40%

Organic sugar production in Negros Occidental has reportedly decreased by 40% due to the impact of El Niño on crops. The Fair Trade Producers Network–Philippines (FTPN-Philippines) in Negros Occidental, led by chairperson Sandrico Cornelio, highlighted the challenges faced by producers in a recent press conference.

According to Cornelio, the drought and water supply shortage have led to a significant decrease in both sugarcane production and quality. The network members, who are agrarian reform beneficiaries, produce organic and fair trade certified sugarcane for muscovado sugar processing and export.

Cornelio emphasized the reliance on rain for crops and the lack of irrigation systems to sustain production levels. Other crops like rice, cassava, sweet potato, and vegetables have also been affected by the drought since the third quarter of 2023.

The group is seeking urgent government assistance, including a food-for-work program, cash assistance, technical support for food security, and provision of farm implements. They hope for swift action to address the immediate concerns of organic sugar producers in Negros Occidental as the drought is expected to continue until May.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has warned about the prolonged drought in the region and its impact on agricultural activities. Organic sugar farmers are looking to authorities for support amidst the challenging conditions.

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