The damage to agriculture due to Maring is now more than P1B – DA

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

In the 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 than the P979.97 million worth of damage reported on Thursday.

Typhoon damage to agriculture was reported in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and SOCCSKSARGEN.

The turbulent weather affected 40,225 farmers and fishermen, with total production losses at 68,693 metric tons (MT) and 60,029 hectares of destroyed agricultural areas.

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

Affected goods include rice, corn, high -value crops, livestock, and fishing.

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

This was followed by maize with a 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 a volume loss of 6,489 MT.

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

Meanwhile, livestock and poultry saw, the amount of production loss amounting to P9.1 million equivalent to 7,023 heads – specifically chickens, cows, buffaloes, horses, goats, ducks, and sheep – lost to Maring.

The Department of Agriculture has allocated an initial P822 million worth of various interventions to help the farmers and fishermen affected 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, without collateral and repayable within 10 years.

Apart from the agricultural debt, the Agriculture department has allocated P172 million under the Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas in Region 1, 2, and CAR.

Other interventions for farmers affected by the storm included a total of 168,998 sacks of rice seeds; 16,601 bags of corn seeds, and 1,480 kg of assorted vegetables from the affected regions; medicine and biologics for animal and poultry needs; available funds from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to pay compensation to the affected farmers.

The DA said before the Maring invasion, a total of 28,952 hectares of rice was harvested from Regions I and II with an equivalent production of 141,635 metric tons worth P2.08 billion.

“For maize, a total of 13,776 hectares were harvested from Region II with an equivalent production of 55,654 metric tons worth P779.15 million,” it said.

The Department of Agriculture said it is conducting an assessment and verification of the damage and losses that Maring has brought to the fisheries sector through Regional Field Offices (RFOs).

“The DA will continue to liaise with the 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. – RSJ, GMA News

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