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'Odette' damage to agriculture nears P6 billion

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'Odette' damage to agriculture nears P6 billion
This aerial handout photo taken on December 17, 2021 and received from the Philippine Army on December 18 shows destroyed houses caused by Super Typhoon Rai after the storm crossed over General Luna, Siargao Island.
Handout / Philippine Army / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Damage to agriculture caused by Super Typhoon Odette (International name: Rai) is nearly at P6 billion and climbing, the Department of Agriculture said, adding it has been distributing assistance to farmers and fisherfolk affected by the storm.

In a taped briefing aired on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told President Rodrigo Duterte that the typhoon that has prompted the declaration of a state of calamity in six regions in the country has also affected 61,581 farmers and fisherfolk.

Around 70,177 hectares have been damaged, which translates to a loss of around 104,561 metric tons of food, Dar said. 

Damage has been estimated at P5.79 billion, with fisheries bearing the brunt at P1.8 billion in losses. Losses in rice were at P1.7 billion while the coconut industry lost P1.5 billion to the typhoon.

He said that early warnings given to farmers and fisherfolk before the typhoon hit their areas allowed them to harvest and save around P655 million in crops and produce.

Government interventions

Dar said that the department has P1 billion in a Quick Response Fund for rehabilitation of the affected areas from the national budget for 2022.

He said that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. is already distributing P828 million in indemnification to farmers affected by the typhoon at around P12,000 per farmer.

Another P500 million has been set aside for the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program, which will provide 20,000 farmers and fisherfolk with loans of P25,000 each. 

The department also has P314 million in rice seeds, P129 million in corn seeds and P57 million in assorted vegetable seeds.

"These are already for distribution to those affected farmers," he said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, meanwhile, has already extended P47 million in assistance to fisherfolk, he said. BFAR will also continue procuring materials for fishing boats.

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

SUPER TYPHOON ODETTE

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