By Lilybeth G. Ison
The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said total loss to the agriculture sector due to super typhoon “Juan” is estimated at P10.59 billion — P8 billion for the rice sector; P660 million for high value commercial crops (HVCC); P412 million for corn; P177.8 million for fisheries; P10.6 million for livestock; and P1.32 billion for infrastructure, irrigation and other agricultural facilities.
The provinces of Pangasinan (P2.36 billion), Nueva Ecija (P1.59 billion), and Isabela (P1.28 billion) suffered the biggest losses mainly palay crops.
Total cropland affected was recorded at 520,634 hectares in 21 provinces in the four regions affected — Regions 1, 2, and 3; and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The total area affected to rice is 404,827 hectares, which represents 21.76 percent of the 1.86 million hectares projected to be harvested nationwide, from October to December.
Estimated production loss of 468,546 metric tons (MT) is roughly six percent of the forecast production of about seven million MT in the 4th quarter of the year.
For the corn sector, total areas affected were 23,021 hectares which is equivalent to 3.6 percent of the 645,695 hectares to be harvested in the 4th quarter.
The DA said estimated loss of 30,378 MT is merely 1.9 percent of the 1.6 million MT projected corn production for the period.
On the other hand, around 6,371 hectares planted to HVCCs were affected by the super typhoon, of which 5,072 hectares were planted to vegetables; 681 hectares to mango; and 609 hectares to banana. Estimated loss was placed at 21,710 MT.
An initial one bag (40 kilos) of certified seeds is being given by the DA to farmers whose farms were severely affected.
Also, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) said it will pay affected farmers whose insured crops were damaged by the typhoon.
PCIC president Jovy Bernabe said his agency will distribute indemnity checks, totaling P161 million, to about 17,200 insured rice and corn farmers within 15 to 20 days. (PNA)