THE Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) in Negros Oriental reported that Typhoon Odette has caused more than P2 billion worth of damage to agriculture, based on updated figures on January 16 sent to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The amount covers the volume of production loss of rice in 7,386 hectares worth over P250 million; 5,957 hectares of corn worth P199 million; 20,018,804 hectares of high-value crops valued at P903 million; 80,484 heads of livestock of over P153 million; and P673 million of fisheries facilities and equipage.

The calamity affected 92,776 farmers and fishers, while agricultural infrastructure, machineries, and equipment have also been damaged.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Central Visayas said, however, that these values are subject to validation.

DA-Central Visayas is currently dispatching teams to the four provinces to conduct damage assessment and validation brought about by Typhoon Odette.

The teams were tasked to validate the partial unvalidated report from the local government units, which reveals that Negros Oriental has the highest valuation loss of more than P1.4 billion as received from DA Field Office in the province.

The damage consists of high-value crops such as mango and agricultural infrastructure and farm machineries.

The report also cited the province of Bohol as second in terms of damages with a valuation loss of more than P1.2 billion, comprising of damages on high-value crops and coconut trees.

Initial reports cite the municipality of Ubay as severely damaged.

Based on the submitted report by the local government units, Cebu comes third with an estimated damage worth of more than P550 million on agricultural infrastructure and various crops.

The island of Siquijor has the least reported damage with more than P150 million, comprising of high-value crops and agricultural infrastructure.

Regional Executive Director Joel Elumba said the region has already identified interventions to address the clamor to rehabilitate the estimated 90,000 hectares devastated by Typhoon Odette. (PIA)