International Agriculture News

Philippine: Storm causes damages worth millions to agriculture sector

By Eireene Jairee Gomez/Manila Times

Damage to agriculture in areas hit by Tropical Depression “Usman” has climbed to P956.63mn, the latest report from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed.

According to the DA-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center (DA-DRRMOC), among the areas affected by the typhoon were Quezon Province, Oriental Mindoro, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, Samar and Leyte.

Damage to the rice sector alone was at P840.40mn, affecting 35,385 rice farmers.
Estimated volume of production loss was pegged at 15,883 metric tonnes (MT) over 41,143 hectares of agricultural areas.

For corn, the DA said damage and losses amounted to  P27.59mn, affecting 5,737 hectares and 4,576 farmers in Albay, Camarines Sur, Masbate and Sorsogon. Damage to high-value crops, such as fruit trees, assorted vegetables and root crops, has reached P56.99mn, with 3,216 MT volume production loss.

Damage to livestock was at P16.78mn in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Northern Samar. For fisheries, damages and losses have hit P15.37mn, affecting 90 fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon.

The DA reported P500,000 in damage to agriculture facilities, particularly small-scale irrigation, in Camarines Sur and Sorsogon.

A report from the DA-DRRMOC said the agency had already distributed seeds (rice, corn and vegetables) and drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs in Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

Mimaropa groups Mindoro Occidental and Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

Local government units of affected provinces have been asked to submit a rehabilitation plan to the Agriculture department.

Tropical depression Usman left the country on December 30. It triggered landslides and flashfloods that left at least 126 people dead.

The death toll was likely to climb further with 26 people still missing, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesman Edgar Posadas told Agence France-Presse.

More than 152,000 people were displaced by the storm and 75 were injured, according to the national disaster agency.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the storm-hit areas on Friday and urged officials to build evacuation centres instead of using schools as shelters for the displaced.

About 20 typhoons and storms batter the Philippines each year, killing hundreds
of people.