The Department of Agriculture-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center said 2,772 hectares of land planted with rice, coffee, cacao, banana and other high-value crops as well as 1,967 animal heads were affected by ashfall.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Taal Volcano eruption agriculture damage hits P578 million
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Damage to agriculture due to the eruption of Taal Volcano has reached P578 million.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center said 2,772 hectares of land planted with rice, coffee, cacao, banana and other high-value crops as well as 1,967 animal heads were affected by ashfall.

The DA said P21.7 million worth of assistance would be distributed to affected farmers in Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Lemery, Laurel, Lipa City, San Jose, Nasugbu, Mataasnakahoy, Balete, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Padre Garcia, Tanauan City, Malvar and Taal in Batangas. These include livestock for restocking, rice and corn seeds and high-value crops planting materials.

The Bureau of Animal Industry will provide veterinary drugs and biologics to affected livestock. Two trucks are available to rescue and evacuate displaced animals, it added.

The Bureau of Plant Industry said 5,000 coffee plants and 1,000 cacao seedlings are ready for distribution.

The DA warned the public of reduced supply of tilapia with production losses estimated at 15,033 metric tons.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said it would prepare seven million tilapia fingerlings, 20,000 ulang, 50,000 mudfish, 100,000 bighead carp and 5,000 ayungin once aquaculture operation in Taal Lake resumes.

Loan, crop insurance

Loan assistance will also be provided for tilapia producers in Central Luzon, the BFAR said.

The Agricultural Credit Policy Council said it has an initial P30 million for farmers and fisherfolk in Batangas for the implementation of its survival and recovery loan assistance.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. said it has enough funds to pay insured farmers and fisherfolk.

Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) said an initial 168,758 bags of rice are ready for distribution to affected areas.

NFA administrator Judy Dansal assured the public that these rice stocks are safe for human consumptiom as they were stored in properly maintained warehouses and were not affected by ashfall.

AGRICULTURE TAAL VOLCANO
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