The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources temporarily converted one of its research vessels into a cargo ship to deliver rice and corn to farmers hit by back-to-back tropical cyclones in Visayas and Mindanao, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Sunday.
"In the absence of commercial vessels to ferry the seeds from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao, the research ship of BFAR, M/V DYCA DA-BFAR, was converted into a cargo ship so the seeds could be delivered quickly to allow the farmers to be able to replant," Piñol said in a statement.
"Most of the crops destroyed by the typhoons were just planted and with the fast delivery of seeds and farm inputs, the farmers could immediately replant and catch up with the planting calendar," he said.
Piñol said the provisions for typhoon-hit farmers are expected to arrive at the Port of Dapitan on January 2.
Agriculture damage due to tropical storm Urduja is pegged at P581.4 million, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Romina Marasigan said last week.
Tropical storm Vinta's wrath resulted in agricultural losses amounting to P7.8 million in agriculture in Agusan del Sur alone, she said.