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Typhoons’ agri damage rises to nearly P8 billion

The combined damage of Typhoon Quinta and Super Typhoon Rolly to the agriculture sector rose to nearly P8 billion, affecting 89,259 farmers and fisherfolk and 162,693 hectares of agricultural areas.

The latest data from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRM) showed that these two typhoons, which hit the country within the span of a week, so far destroyed as much as 279,071 metric tons (MT) of agricultural production worth P7.66 billion.

Affected areas are regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, CAR, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA, while affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, and livestock.

Damage in irrigation and agri-facilities were also recorded, the DRRM report showed.

For Quinta alone, the total amount of damage and losses in agri-fisheries remains at P2.66 billion, with volume loss of about 149,781 MT.

It affected 56,686 farmers and fisherfolk from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Rolly, on the other hand, already incurred P5-billion worth of damage and losses to the agriculture sector.

The number of farmers and fisherfolk affected rose to 42,151 farmers, while 194,181 MT of agricultural production were lost in CAR, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas because of it.

The other day, Asis Perez, convenor of Tugon Kabuhayan, said when looking at the typhoon damage and losses in the agriculture sector, the DA should also look at consequential damages that farmers and fishermen will have to deal with after typhoons wreaked havoc in their livelihood.

This means that beyond the actual value of “crops”, the DA should also look at the condition of affected agricultural areas and take into account the period they need before they can fully recover.

“More than the actual damage caused by the two typhoons, the government must also look at the consequential damage. Some of the crops may not bear fruit until after a year, others even more,” Perez said.

Rene Cerilla, policy leader of Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahan ng mga Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) and a farmer-leader from Lopez, Quezon, said Rolly and Quinta caused severe damages in the lives of farmers in Bicol region and Quezon province.

More than their crops, he said a lot of them are now preoccupied re-building their destroyed homes, while their children’s education has been put on hold because there is no electricity within their areas.

“Our farmer-leader in Albay, her house was completely destroyed and they are now busy re-building it. She said she’s already obtained wounds from trying to salvage what is left of her home,” Cerilla said.

“There is no electricity too, no signal. We are really having a hard time. Our children couldn’t study,” he added.

In terms of yield, Cerilla said that while some were able to harvest their crops early, especially in rice, a few days before the typhoons made landfall, the gloomy weather and the lack of post-harvest facilities now prevent them from drying their yield.


Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph


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