Philippines - Agriculture damage due to Maring now over P1B

15.10.2021 190 views

The damage left to the country’s agriculture sector by Severe Tropical Storm Maring after ravaging northern Luzon and parts of the Visayas has risen to more than a billion pesos, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday.

In its latest typhoon bulletin, the DA said the damage and losses to the crop sector brought by Maring amounted to P1.17 billion.

This is higher compared to the P979.97 million worth of damage reported on Thursday.

The storm’s devastation to agriculture have been reported in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and SOCCSKSARGEN.

The weather disturbance affected 40,225 farmers and fishers, with volume of production loss at 68,693 metric tons (MT) and 60,029 hectares of destroyed agricultural areas.

“These values are subject to validation,” the DA said.

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, and fisheries.

Of the affected agricultural commodities, rice took the most hit as it incurred a total value of production loss of P943.2 million with production volume loss of 53,234 MT.

It was followed by corn with a value loss of P130.9 million equivalent to a volume loss of 7,969 MT. High-value crops recorded a production loss of P70.7 million with volume loss of 6,489 MT.

The fisheries sector recorded a total value loss of P15.5 million affecting 229 fisherfolks.

Livestock and poultry, meanwhile, saw a value of production loss amounting to P9.1 million equivalent to 7,023 heads - particularly chicken, cattle, carabao, horse, goat, duck, and sheep - lost to Maring.

The Agriculture department has allotted an initial P822 million worth of various interventions to aid farmers and fishermen hit by Maring.

Of the said amount, P650 million will go for the provision of emergency loans to affected farmers and fishermen under the SURE (Survival and Recovery) Calamity Loan Assistance Program through the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).

Each farmer or fisherman can borrow P20,000, at zero interest, with no collateral and payable in 10 years.

Aside from the agricultural loan, the Agriculture department has allotted P172 million under its Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas in Regions 1, 2, and CAR.

Other interventions for typhoon-hit farmers include a total of 168,998 bags of rice seeds; 16,601 bags of corn seeds, and 1,480 kgs of assorted vegetables from affected regions; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs; available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to indemnify affected farmers.

The DA said prior to the onslaught of Maring, a total area of 28,952 hectares of rice have been harvested from Regions I and II with an equivalent production of 141,635 metric tons amounting to P2.08 billion.

“As for corn, a total of 13,776 hectares have been harvested from Region II with an equivalent production of 55,654 metric tons amounting to P779.15 million,” it said.

The Agriculture Department said it is conducting assessment and validation of damage and losses brought by Maring in the agri-fisheries sector through its Regional Field Offices (RFOs).

“The DA will continue to coordinate with concerned NGAs (national government agencies), LGUs (local government units) and other DRRM (disaster risk reductions and management)-related offices for the impact of ‘Maring,’ as well as available resources for interventions and assistance,” it said.

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