Agri damage from Ulysses hits P6.72B

    A corn plantation in Soliven, Isabela flattened by floodwaters. (Photo courtesy of Project Sagip)

    The Department of Agriculture (DA) said losses to agriculture caused by Typhoon Ulysses have reached P6.72 billion.

    Some 226,708 metric tons (MT) of production losses were registered in 334,533 hectares of agricultural areas affecting 167,885 farmers and fisherfolk.

    The figure is culled from validated reports from the regions of Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Zamboanga Peninsula.

    Rice suffered the highest losses of P2.37 billion or 35 percent of total followed by high value crops, P2.04 billion and; fisheries, P1.36 billion.

    The DA has pledged P8.5 billion assistance to farmers and fishermen affected by the recent string of typhoons. The assistance includes rice, corn and assorted vegetable seed reserves; livestock and fisheries paraphernalia; and production inputs, rehabilitation and repair of production facilities and small-scale irrigation systems.

    The amount also funds unconditional cash and food assistance to eligible marginalized farmers and fisherfolk; the Survival and Recovery Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council; and indemnification fund from Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to pay for the losses incurred.

    The total damage on the country’s agri-fishery sector due to the seven successive typhoons from Nika, Ofel, Pepito, Quinta, Rolly, Siony, and Ulysses has reached P15.34 billion.

    Ulysses, Rolly, and Quinta recorded P6.72 billion, P5.79 billion, and P2.66 billion worth of losses, respectively.

    DA Secretary William Dar claims that the damage could have been more massive had it not for the early advisories that enabled farmers and fishers on the path of the typhoons to harvest their crops and fishery products.

    He said more than P32 billion worth of rice, corn, vegetables and fruit crops, and aquaculture species were saved and some 1.94 million MT worth P30.1 billion from 445,376 hectares were spared for rice while corn farmers were able to save 161,824 MT worth P1.98 billion.