Batangas province produces around 13% of the coffee supply in the Calabarzon region.
The STAR/File
Coffee farms worst hit by Taal ashfall
(Philstar.com) - January 14, 2020 - 8:44am

MANILA, Philippines — Ash from Taal Volcano has affected 752 hectares of agricultural land in Cuence, Lemery and Taal in Batangas, according to an initial assessment by the Department of Agriculture, with coffee farms being the most affected.

Citing reports from its Calabarzon regional field office, the DA said damage to agriculture is at an estimated P74.55 million. Ninety-nine percent, around P73.96 million, of the estimated crop damage, is to coffee.

According to a report in Agriculture Monthly in November, Batangas province produces 13% of the coffee supply in Calabarzon, although the region only accounts for 7% of the country's coffee production of about 35,000 metric tons a year. The bulk of Philippine coffee, 77%, is grown in Mindanao.

The ashfall has also affected 102 animal head, the DA said.

The ash is also expected to damage around 6,000 fish cages on the lake and will affect stocks of tawilis and tilapia.

"[P]roduction loss is estimated at 15,033 metric tons since fishkill is expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content brought by the volcanic eruption, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources," the department also said.

The DA assured the public, however, that there is enough rice for the needs of the affected areas, with more than 4 million bags allocated to relief agencies for distribution to evacuees.

COFFEE FARMING DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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