Agriculture losses from 'Ondoy' and 'Pepeng' hit P18-B


Posted at Oct 13 2009 05:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 14 2009 02:45 AM

MANILA - Total damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure wrought by the two successive typhoons that hit the country has reached P18.4 billion, according to the latest report released by the Department of Agriculture's Center Action Center (DACAC) on Tuesday.

The DACAC said the losses—P6.8 billion from "Ondoy" and P11.7 billion from "Pepeng"—were recorded in all of Luzon's seven regions.

The typhoons destroyed some 121,949 hectares of croplands, resulting in the loss of 925,523 metric tons of rice, corn, and high-value crops. Fishery products, livestock and poultry were affected while farm infrastructure worth P2.7 billion were ruined.

Rice areas were the most affected, with some 109,188 hectares reported to have no chance of recovery.

Damaged farmlands, meanwhile, lost some 839,241 metric tons of palay, 45,768 metric tons of corn, and 40,514 metric tons of high-value commercial crops, mostly vegetables, bananas and assorted fruits.

Aside from damage to agriculture, the typhoons also left many farm-to-market roads in Northern Luzon flooded and blocked by mud and boulders, hampering the delivery of farm products to Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

With supply running short, ANC's Dateline Philippines reported that vegetable prices in the capital have surged by nearly 300%.

For instance, a kilogram of cabbage, which used to sell at P45 in public markets, now costs P120. Prices of potatoes, carrots and string beans have also more than doubled.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the government was talking to retailers to see if the price increases were warranted.

He added that vegetables would now be sourced from Nueva Vizcaya and provinces in Mindanao.