Damage to E. Visayas agri sector due to flooding hits P357M

Damage to E. Visayas agri sector due to flooding hits P357M

ALANGALANG, Leyte – Damage and losses to agriculture due to severe flooding in Eastern Visayas since last week have reached PHP356.91 million, the Department of Agriculture reported Thursday.

The weather disturbances have affected 18,302 farmers tilling 18,319 hectares of land in six provinces, said Larry Sultan, DA Eastern Visayas regional technical director for operations.

Rice posted the biggest losses with a total value loss of PHP152.02 million, followed by high-value crops at PHP3.82 million, livestock at PHP836,400 and root crops at PHP227,650.

Sultan said validation and acceptance of reports from affected areas is still ongoing, adding that they began receiving reports as early as Dec. 28.

He also said that while the flooding did not actually affect the total production output since most farms are still in the preparatory stage, they would anticipate a delay in the harvest time.

“The recent flooding will not really affect the total production output target since most of the farms are still in the preparatory stage and some are newly planted. However, it is expected that harvest time in some areas will be delayed,” Sultan said.

The department has vowed to provide free rice seeds to affected farmers from four regions spared by flooding brought about by low pressure area and shear line.

The department has urged local government units to continuously monitor the field situations and submit damage reports.

Affected farmers are encouraged to immediately report their losses to their respective municipal or city agriculture office for immediate validation and inclusion in the reports.

Since the third week of December, the region has experienced heavy rains due to weather disturbances.

Eastern Visayas is an agricultural area. Forty-five percent or 976,415 hectares of its total land area is devoted to agriculture, 70 percent of which is used to plant coconut, while 20 percent is for rice and corn and the rest is for other crops. (PNA)

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