Luis damage to agri ‘minimal’ at P410M
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday, September 16, initial estimate puts agricultural damage from Typhoon Luis (Kalmaegi) at P409.67 million ($9.225 million*) in Luzon.
In a press briefing at the DA central office in Quezon City, Undersecretary Emerson Palad said the initial report covers 18 provinces in 5 regions. These include Ifugao, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan in the Ilocos Region; Cagayan and Isabela in Cagayan Valley; Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales in Centra Luzon; and Camarines Sur in Bicol.
He said Cagayan Valley sustained the bulk of the damage.
Damage to rice stood at P270.27 million, followed by corn at P134.81 million, vegetables and other high value crops at P4.44 million, and livestock at P140,000.
In Cagayan Valley, farmers suffered initial losses valued at P262.18 million, including P136.1 million in rice and P126.06 million in corn. Next to Cagayan Valley as worst affected were Central Luzon (P60.5 million) and Ilocos Region (P43.13 million).
Palad said the report did not include fisheries and other sectors yet, as field validation and re-validation are ongoing.
The DA is confident that the losses would have minimal or no impact at all to national production targets as projected rice and corn losses represented only 0.67% and 0.72%, respectively, of the total full year goal.
Nonetheless, the agency has started to mobilize its resources in affected regions, notably in the buffer stocking of palay seeds. It forms part of the DA’s continuing Palit-Tanim program to enable calamity-stricken farmers to re-plant at the soonest possible time, Palad said.
“In fact, DA’s regional office in Central Luzon began distributing seeds to most-affected palay farmers,” Palad added.
The DA also plans to use part of the additional quick-response fund (QRF) that it recently requested from Department of Budget and Management to help the agri-fishery sector.
The agriculture department requested the additional QRF supposedly to augment rehabilitation funds for the delivery of prompt and sustainable rebuilding of livelihood for farmers and fishers affected by natural calamities that hit the country earlier, including typhoon Glenda in Bicol and CALABARZON, and the dry spell in Cagayan Valley. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44.3