P5.9B estimated damage to agriculture due to 'Lando'

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday the estimated damage on agriculture sector caused by Typhoon "Lando" (international name: Kuppo) has already reached P5.9 billion.

The damages resulted as the typhoon pummeled about 277,060 hectares of rich agricultural lands in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera regions.

Through partial field validation, the DA estimated that the regions have already incurred a production loss of 386,000 metric tons.

Of the total, palay accounts for the largest production loss at about 360,000 metric tons, equivalent to P5.3 billion.

Corn and high value crops recorded production losses at 5,600 metric tons and 21, 800 metric tons, respectively. These figures are equivalent to P84.5 million losses for corn and P528.9 million losses for high value crops.

Damage on livestock, on the other hand, is pegged at P517,000.

Central Luzon, the country's largest rice producer, has the worst production loss for rice at 326,000 metric tons.

It is followed by the Cagayan Valley Region at 23,000 metric tons.

Damage on high value crops in Cordillera, the country's vegetable bowl, is meanwhile lower at 339 metric tons compared to 19,000 metric tons for Central Luzon.

As of date, based on the DA-Regional Field Offices partial field validation, more than 98 percent of the total affected area still has chances of recovery.

DA Undersecretary Emerson Palad said that agency has already given a directive to its regional offices and units to release prepositioned bags of rice and corn for immediate replanting of damaged farms.

According to Palad, the DA now focuses on rice and corn but measures for high value crops and livestock are now prepared for immediate rollout by the DA's plant and animal industry bureaus.

He ensured that the country also has sufficient rice stock to cover ensuing supply shortage because of the typhoon's damage.

While the typhoon has resulted to considerable damage in agriculture, the Agriculture department said this was a chance to negate the potentially more devastating effects of El Nino on agricultural production. (SDR/Sunnex)

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