THE Department of Agriculture (DA) allotted an initial P822 million worth of various interventions as it vowed to continue providing farmers and fisherfolk affected by “Typhoon Maring,” with much-needed aid.
According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, “Maring” left the country with some damage to major crops, livestock and fishery products mostly in Regions 1, 2 and CAR.
“We will continue to provide our typhoon and flood-affected farmers and fisherfolk in Northern Luzon and other areas with immediate aid and much-needed assistance to recover and start anew after the damage and loss in their livelihood and income,” Secretary Dar said.
Of the total P822 million assistance, P650 million is allotted for the provision of emergency loans to affected farmers and fishers under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance Program through the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
Each affected household can borrow P20,000, at zero interest, no collateral, and payable in 10 years.
Aside from the agricultural loan, the DA has allotted P172 million under its Quick Response Fund (QRF) for the rehabilitation of affected areas in Regions 1,2, and CAR.
Secretary Dar said that these interventions are over and above the regular assistance provided by the DA to farmers and fishers affected by typhoons and other natural calamities.
Now ready for distribution are 169,000 bags of certified rice seeds, 16,600 bags of certified corn seeds, drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry and indemnification for the affected farmers and fishers from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).
Damage and losses have been reported in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas amounting to P979.97 million affecting 35,429 farmers and fishers, with volume of production loss at 59,514 metric tons (MT) and 52,132 hectares of agricultural areas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, and fisheries. These values are subject to validation.
The good part was prior to “Maring,” a total area of 28,952 hectares of rice have been harvested from Regions I and II with an equivalent production of 141,635 metric tons amounting to P2.08 billion.
As for corn, a total of 13,776 hectares have been harvested from Region II with an equivalent production of 55,654 metric tons amounting to P779.15 million.
Secretary Dar said that the damage could have been more massive had it not been for the early DA advisories and early warning system that enabled farmers and fishers to harvest early their crops and fishery products.