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Damage to agriculture by ‘Ambo’ raised to ₱1.1B

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Typhoon Ambo’s total damage to the country’s agriculture sector have slightly increased from ₱1.04 billion to ₱1.14 billion as more production loss was recorded in high value crops, especially banana.

As this happens, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now readying interventions using its Quick Response Fund (QRF) worth ₱700 million.

To date, the volume of production loss the agriculture sector has incurred from Typhoon Ambo now stood at 65,824 metric tons (MT), with damages recorded across 25,404 hectares of agricultural areas, while the number of affected farmers and fisherfolk rose to 37,714.

Of this, high value crops still recorded the most damage and losses among the commodities, especially banana.

Other affected commodities are rice, corn, fisheries, livestock, and assorted fruit and vegetables.

The increase in the total damage and losses are attributed to the updated reports from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions, as well as additional reports from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and MIMAROPA.

On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar already ordered the immediate release of the agency’s QRF so the agency could start with its interventions for the sector.

“We will use the QRF to rehabilitate affected areas and help farmers and fishers who suffered the brunt of Ambo that damaged ₱1.14-billion worth of crops and fishery resources, where close to three-fourths or 69 percent belong to the high value crops sub-sector,” Dar said.

“We were fortunate that the losses were not that heavy, as we issued early warning and pro-active recommendations to our regional field offices several days before the weather disturbance touched down in eastern Visayas,” he added.

Dar already directed the prepositioning of rice, corn and vegetable seeds in regions 1, 3, 4-A, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Cordillera.

These included 109,586 bags of rice seeds, 10,116 bags of corn seeds, and 1,195 kilograms of vegetable seeds. Animal drugs and other biologics for livestock and poultry were also distributed.

In addition, the DA, through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), is set to grant an initial indemnity of ₱90.5 million to about 11,500 farmers and fishermen, who availed of insurance coverage.

“The number of beneficiaries might still go up as we conduct further adjustment and validation of more affected areas. We have given strict instructions to our personnel to conduct the adjustment activities and process the indemnity payments soonest,” said PCIC President Jovy Bernabe.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/19/damage-to-agriculture-by-ambo-raised-to-%e2%82%b11-1b/)

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