• Melo Acuna

Department of Agriculture to assist affected farmers

Farmers reel from two successive typhoons

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) reported about 80,000 farmers from over 115,000 hectares of farmlands in six regions have been affected the typhoons “Quinta” and “Rolly.” The twin weather disturbances resulted in the loss of some 262,539 metric tons of rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries and livestock, irrigation and some agriculture-related facilities.

Engr. Roy M. Abaya, Department of Agriculture’s Director for Field Services Division, said the successive typhoons caused losses of about P4.56 billion. However, a validation process is now underway.

“We issued early advisories prior to ‘Quinta’ and ‘Rolly,’ saving harvests of rice and corn in the regions that were along the path of the typhoons,” said Director Abaya over the weekly Wednesday Roundtable @ Lido.

Citing reports from the Department of Agriculture for “Quinta”, Director Abaya said 133,292 hectares of farmlands planted to rice have been saved due to the early advisory. It had an equivalent production of 530,593 metric tons worth P7.66 billion from seven regions. Corn crops planted in 26,910 hectares have also been saved in Cagayan Valley and Western Visayas with an estimated production of 109,364 metric tons worth P1.31 billion.

Director Abaya disclosed 242,368 hectares of rice lands has been saved from five regions with an equivalent production of 1,071,344 metric tons worth P16.96 billion. Some 11,132 hectares of corn lands with an estimated production of 45,703 metric tons worth P579 million from four regions were saved.

Over in Albay Province, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar assured farmers from Polangui, Albay of the Department of Agriculture’s assistance when he visited the area yesterday.

He also led in the distribution of P90-million worth of assistance to affected farmers and fishermen due to Typhoon “Rolly.” Included in the assistance are hubrid rice, corn and assorted vegetables, urea fertilizer, farm implements, and fishing ger and paraphernalia as well as other production inputs.

He took the occasion to announce close to P600 million in indemnification fund has been made available through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). He added 32,761 Bicol-based farmers affected by the most recent typhoon may avail of the said fund.

Secretary Dar was joined by Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan and DA Bicol Regional Director Rodel Tornilla. (Melo M. Acuña)

Secretary William D. Dar (right) assures a farmer from Polangui, Albay of the Department of Agriculture's assistance after "Rolly" inundated farmlands in the region. On extreme left is Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan. Floods brought about by "Rolly's" heavy rains severely damaged rice lands in Balangibang and Matacon in Polangui, Albay. (Department of Agriculture Photos)

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