THE province of Benguet remains at risk of andap or vegetable frost with the continued drop in temperature. Provincial Agriculturist Lolita Bentres said they are closely monitoring Barangays Paoay and Cattubo in Atok which often experience frost.
Although Atok has experience temperature to as low as 7 degrees Celsius the municipal agriculture office of the town has yet to record cases of vegetable frosting in the different farms producing cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and radish.
"I am more concern on the municipalities at source, which is Atok. We are monitoring other municipalities like Kabayan, Kibungan, and Madaymen, Buguias.
However based on the verbal and text messages, we have not incurred damages," said Bentres. “As of now minimal and continous naman iyong productions, I don't think the consuming public would be affected. They should not be alarmed because we have enough, in case of damages, it will be substantiated by other municipalities," said Bentres.
Bentres instructed the different municipal agriculture offices to immediately report once there are alarming cases of frost in their areas. They are also advising the public not to be alarm in cases of andap believed to derail in the production of vegetables as businessmen might take advantage of the situation.
Department of Agriculture regional director Narciso Edillo said farmers are made aware of the mitigating measures protecting their crops either by covering plastic or with sprinklers to lessen the probable effects of frost. "Yearly we are giving assistance to different association and cooperatives," said Edillo.
Farmers with irrigation systems are given sprinklers. Frost occurs once the moisture enter without the presence of air and develops into ice causing injury to vegetable crops. In its vegetative stage, before the frost develops, it is possible to revive the crop for damages manifest after one week.
Edillo said with the low temperature in the upper portion of Cordillera, it may affect the supply of vegetables where prices are also seen to go up.
By Lauren Alimondo