Rehab of agri livelihood in ‘Yolanda’ affected areas to cost P6.9 B: DA

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Rehabilitation of livelihood in the agricultural areas affected by Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ is estimated to cost around P 6.9 billion, Agriculture Undersecretary Dante De Lima said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

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Of the P 6.9 billion requirement, the national government has already committed to release P 1.4 billion, according to De Lima.

Some of the interventions being implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA) are clearing operations, provision of farm tractors and tools, distribution of fertilizer, fuel subsidy for farm machinery and provision of fishing boats, among others.

The rehabilitation is currently focused on strategic production zones consisting of 27 provinces in six regions which were worst hit by the typhoon. These zones include irrigation systems, agrarian reform communities, traditional food producing regions/provinces and households.

The DA is also pushing for the cultivation of white corn as an alternative staple.

“We are aiming to produce 100,000 metric tons of white corn by the start of the harvest season in September,” he said. “Production will focus particularly on the top 10 corn eating provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.”

As of January 7, latest DA figure shows that the typhoon’s damage to agriculture stood at P31.13 billion. PNA

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