MANILA — Some P2.02 billion worth of agricultural losses were recorded after Typhoon Karding lashed parts of Luzon earlier in the week, an official said Thursday.
Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said losses in the sector were mostly recorded in the areas of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Quezon.
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A separate briefer from the agency's disaster monitoring team showed that aside from those areas, agricultural damage was also recorded in other areas in Calabarzon, Bicol Region, and Western Visayas.
In total, 150,693 hectares of farm lands are affected, while 91,944 farmers and fisherfolk are reeling from Karding's impact.
"Ito ay tinatala na mahigit 20 percent of total area planted ang nadisgrasya," Panganiban said during a public briefing.
Commodities and agricultural products heavily damaged by the strong storm include rice (P1.66 billion), high value crops (P271.6 million), corn (P43.6 million), fisheries (P43 million), and livestock and poultry (P7.9 million).
Domingo said his agency is already responding to the needs of the farmers and fisherfolk affected, which includes the distribution of P170 million worth of rice seeds, P23 million worth of corn seeds, and P13.5 million worth of assorted vegetable seeds.
The DA will also distribute P2.45 million worth of animal heads, drugs, and biologics for the affected livestock and poultry farmers as well as offer fingerlings and fishing paraphernalia to fishermen.
There will also be a loan program through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council of up to P25,000 payable in 3 years "with zero interest," said Panganiban.
The official warned that there might be a rise in vegetable or rice products of about "15 to 20 percent" because of the storm's impact.
As of Thursday, Karding's death toll stood at 11, while 6 were still missing.
In its latest situational report, the disaster response monitoring agency said more than 176,000 families or 640,000 individuals were affected by the onslaught of Karding in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Mimaropa and Cordillera Administrative Region.
The estimated cost of damage to infrastructure has climbed to P23.45 million.