Odette damage to agriculture rises to P8 billion
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Tuesday that damage and losses caused by Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) to Philippine agriculture has reached P8 billion and it is still expected to increase in the coming days.
Even after leaving the Philippine area of responsibility more than a week ago, the agency said in a bulletin that the typhoon-affected 113,479 farmers and fishers in 11 regions, mostly in the Visayas and parts of Mindanao.
Affected regions include Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga.
The volume of production loss spiked to 171,222 metric tons covering 341,280 hectares of agricultural areas.
Aside from damaging agricultural infrastructures, machinery, and equipment, Odette also hit commodities such as rice, corn, high-value crops, coconut, sugarcane, livestock, and fisheries.
The DA has prepared P2.9 billion in financial aid for affected farmers and fishers, including P1 billion worth of quick-response funds for the rehabilitation of affected areas.
Sources of aid
Those affected can also tap funds from the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.
Furthermore, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, through its Survival and Recovery Assistance Program, has readied P500 million for 20,000 farmers and fisherfolk at P25,000 each.
Other interventions include P314 million worth of rice seeds, P129 million worth of corn seeds, P57 million worth of assorted vegetables, P47 million worth of assistance from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and P6.6 million worth of animal stocks, drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry.
Reporting to President Duterte on Monday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the fisheries sector was the hardest hit, followed by rice and coconut.
The Philippines also lost almost 700,000 MT of rice, which is 3.4 percent of the 20.3 million MT target this year, he said.
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