MANILA – Agricultural losses due to heavy rains have now hit PHP315.5 million, according to the Department of Agriculture-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (DA-DRRM).
In its latest bulletin, the DA-DRRM said thousands of farmers were affected as the volume of damage continued to increase, considering the combined effects of the low pressure area, the intertropical convergence zone, shearline, and northeast monsoon.
“Based on assessments made by the DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs), damage and losses have been reported in MIMAROPA, Bicol, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga regions amounting to PHP315.3 million affecting 10,182 farmers, with the volume of production loss at 3,049 metric tons and 15,566 hectares of agricultural areas,” the DA-DRRM said.
The highest worth of loss was reported in rice production amounting to PHP297.4 million, or 3,011 metric tons of volume loss.
The worst-hit areas include the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Camarines Sur, Biliran, Surigao del Norte, and Misamis Oriental.
Rice production was also affected in several areas of Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City.
Besides volume loss in rice, the DA-DRRM added that damage to corn, high-value crops, and livestock and poultry were also being validated.
For corn, around a PHP16.1-million volume loss was recorded, with Camarines Sur being severely hit.
Assorted vegetables and root crops were also damaged in Zamboanga City, followed by Oriental Mindoro, Catanduanes, Eastern Samar, and Bohol, hitting PHP1.7 million in losses.
Misamis Oriental, meanwhile, recorded the highest loss on farm animals including on chickens, ducks, swine, and cattle.
Around PHP174,300 worth of damage to livestock and poultry was initially reported.
To date, the DA assured the public that it has intensified its coordination with local authorities to finalize damage assessments, as well as utilization of available intervention resources for affected farmers.
The DA said resources are ready for distribution to affected farmers including “rice, corn, and assorted vegetable seeds; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry; survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) with [the] loanable amount of up to PHP25,000 payable in three years at zero interest; and Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas.” (PNA)