‘Egay’ farm damage hits P53M in 2 days

By: Jordeene B. Lagare – @inquirerdotnet

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:36 AM July 28, 2023

Benguet Rep. Eric Yap is calling for help to aid people of Benguet after the province was battered by Typhoon Egay, which causes flash floods and landslides in different areas. This photo shows Benguet’s farmlands, including the famous strawberry field in La Trinidad, submerged by flood waters. (Photo from the Office of Benguet Rep. Eric Yap)

From the previous estimate of P255,000, the damage wrought by Typhoon “Egay” (international name: Doksuri) on the essential agriculture sector has gone up to P53.1 million as of Thursday, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) saying it expects the figure to further go up in the coming days.

“Definitely, we are expecting the amount to increase in the succeeding hours and days as our ground personnel are going around and gathering reports on the damage caused by the typhoon. We are validating other reports already,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said.

Based on a DA bulletin, the typhoon affected 2,303 farmers in the following regions: Cordillera; Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces); Mimaropa (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan provinces) and Caraga (Agusan del Sur and Norte, Surigao del Sur and Norte provinces, and Dinagat Islands). The volume of production loss was estimated at 1,871 metric tons spanning 3,185 hectares of agricultural areas. Affected commodities included rice, corn, livestock and poultry with the values subject to validation.

Among the subsectors, corn recorded the largest damage at P31.1 million—equivalent to a volume loss of 1,837 MT and an area of 1,176 ha. Next was rice at P20.8 million and livestock and poultry at P1.2 million.

Federation of Free Farmers national manager Raul Montemayor said it was too soon to tell if Egay would affect domestic rice production and supply in the coming months as most rice crops were only in the first month of the four-month production cycle.

De Mesa said that among the affected provinces, Occidental Mindoro sustained the biggest amount of damage at P20 million, covering almost 2,000 ha of rice.

In Agusan del Sur, the typhoon hit corn areas with losses pegged at around P18 million.

According to de Mesa, the DA does not expect Egay to affect the retail prices and supply of agricultural products since the crops damaged by the typhoon were still in the early growth stage.

Gov’t interventions

Still, the department is prepared to provide interventions to affected producers, such as rice, corn and assorted vegetable seeds for farmers; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry; and fingerlings for fishers. De Mesa said the Department of Budget and Management had already added an additional P1 billion to the quick response fund to help out farmers and fisherfolk affected by Egay or the El Niño phenomenon. Those affected can also tap funding through the Survival and Recovery Loan Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council with a maximum loan of P25,000 payable in three years at no interest.

SOURCE: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1808590/egay-farm-damage-hits-p53m-in-2-days?utm_source=gallery&utm_medium=direct

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