STA. BARBARA, Iloilo - At least 3,416 hectares of rice farms in the 18 towns of the province of Iloilo are reportedly suffering from rat infestation, a report from the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) here said.
Said towns have been identified as Leon, Alimodian, Sta. Barbara, Leganes, Zarraga, New Lucena, Cabatuan, Mina, Badiangan, Lambunao, San Enrique, Dingle, Dueñas, Dumangas, Anilao, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion and Estancia.
Of these towns, the most affected reportedly are Mina, Sta. Barbara, New Lucena, and Anilao.
To prevent said rat infestation from spreading to other rice lands, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. is encouraging farmers and the entire community to hunt down rats in their areas; the PAO here has also already distributed 645 bottles of zinc phosphide as rat poison measure to affected municipalities.
DA officials are also encouraging farmers to practice synchronized planting in order not to attract rats.