‘Maring’ crop loss reaches ₧2.1B as DA assures ample food supply


The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday reported that the damages and losses to farmlands due to Severe Tropical Storm “Maring” have now reached P2.1 billion affecting 76,442 farmers and fishers.

In a news conference, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said these damages and losses were recorded in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas and Soccsksargen.

According to DA’s data as of 9 a.m., October 18, these damages and losses have been reported from 85,744 hectares agricultural areas of the said regions. Maring caused a production volume loss of about 101,818 metric tons (MT).

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and fisheries, and irrigation and agri-facilities.

Enough supplies

Despite these damages and losses, Dar assured the public that the country, particularly the National Capital Region, will have enough food supplies in the coming months.

Dar said the agency is expecting areas around Metro Manila, including Rizal, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan to mobilize their products to the country’s capital.

“We will mobilize more of these products, which badly affected by Maring like vegetables and fruits, from other provinces not affected by the typhoon,” said the agriculture chief.

“These [products from nearby provinces] will be good enough to handle these damages and losses caused by Maring,” he added.

Prior to Maring, the DA data showed a total area of 28,952 hectares of rice has been harvested from Regions 1 and 2 with an equivalent production of 141,635 MT amounting to P2.08 billion. As for corn, a total of 13,776 hectares have been harvested from Region 2 with an equivalent production of 55,654 metric tons amounting to P779.15 million.

“The farming and fishing communities have been advised early enough [against the tropical storm]. As a result, we have saved P2 billion worth of products,” he added.

The agriculture department also assured that the agency will provide P1.5 billion worth of interventions and assistance to affected farmers and fishers, which include P172 million worth of Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas; P296 million, worth of free seeds of rice, corn and assorted vegetables for distribution to affected farmers; P19 million worth of fingerlings and assistance to affected fisherfolk; P1 million worth of drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs.

The agency said P650 million worth of emergency loan assistance, where each affected farm and fisher household can borrow up to P20,000, at zero-interest, no-collateral, and payable in 10 years; and P370 million worth of indemnity from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) for 44,208 affected farmers in CAR, Regions 1, 2, 3 and Mimaropa are also part of interventions and assistance for farmers and fishers.

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