Agriculture damage due to Ursula hits P1.3 billion

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Damage to agriculture in areas battered by Typhoon Ursula has ballooned to P1.35 billion.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Operation Center said 29,056 hectares of agricultural land were damaged and 79,752 farmers were affected in Mimaropa, Bicol and Western, Central and Eastern Visayas. Production losses were placed at 36,389 metric tons.

The fisheries sector was hardest hit, accounting for 44 percent of the damage valued at P589.06 million. At least 43,813 fisherfolk were affected.

Damage to high-value crops in 6,997 hectares was placed at P453.61 million.

Also affected were 19,691 hectares of rice fields and 8,592 metric tons of produce valued at P320.49 million.

Corn production losses, which affected 2,367 hectares, were placed at P25.7 million.

Some P34.73 million worth of agricultural infrastructure, including some irrigation systems, were also damaged.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the distribution of planting materials, poultry and livestock, fingerlings, fiberglass fishing boats and fishing paraphernalia to affected farmers and fisherfolk.

Dar gave assurance that the DA would fasttrack the delivery of assistance to affected farmers and fisherfolk even as regional field offices are working on rehabilitation and recovery plans.

The DA said the Agricultural Credit Policy Council allocated P60 million under its survival and recovery program.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. said it would fasttrack the processing of crop insurance of affected farmers.

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