MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Juan (international codename: Megi) could damage 232,169 tonnes of unmilled rice crop in the northern Philippines in the govermment's worst-case scenario, with only 30% of it able to be harvested, the head of the state grains agency said.
Angelito Banayo, administrator of the National Food Authority told Reuters via text message the figures were based on estimates from the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.
The Philippines is the world's biggest rice importer and damage from the typhoon could see it buy more than expected for 2011.
President Aquino has pledged to put more rice on the plates of the country's poorest.
Back-to-back typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (international codenames Ketsana and Parma, respectively) battered key rice producing areas in the country when it hit in September-October 2009. Agricultural damage, which was one of the most watched impact of a typhoon on the economy, reached more than P18 billion then.