Agri damage due to Yolanda estimated at P31 B

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 09 2014 07:51 AM | Updated as of Jan 09 2014 03:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Agriculture production damage caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas has now risen to P31.13 billion with the coconut subsector sustaining the greatest damage.

Latest data released by the Department of Agriculture showed that to date, the coconut industry in the Visayas provinces affected by the typhoon incurred production losses valued at P17.8 billion. Demolished by the typhoon were 441, 517 hectares of coconut plantation.

The rice subsector incurred production losses of P3.23 billion equivalent to 199,199 metric tons (MT) of palay (unhusked rice) planted in 106, 414 hectares of rice fields.

The banana industry also sustained significant production losses valued at P1.49 billion as Yolanda pummeled 14,775 hectares of banana plantation damaging 102, 178 MT of produce.

The livestock industry sustained P2.`24 billion in production losses, while the fisheries sector incurred loses of P1.49 billion.

Damage to agriculture facilities and infrastructure was valued at P4.06 billion.

An estimated 203, 870 farming and fishing families were affected by the typhoon.

Agriculture undersecretary for operations Dante Delima said some 10,000 farmers have already migrated to Metro Manila and other provinces unaffected by the typhoon in search of livelihood.

Various interventions are now being instituted both for short-term and long-term rehabilitation needs in affected areas.

Delima said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is determining the appropriate technologies to be used in long-term rehabilitation after completing the provision of 40 percent of the rice seed requirements for replanting in devastated areas.

Inbred varieties were sourced by FAO from private seed companies based in the Philippines. The balance of the seed requirement was sourced from community seed banks established by the Department of Agriculture from regions unaffected by the typhoon.

He said the FAO is keen on establishing household seed banks to support the government-established community seed banks in times of typhoons.