• Santi’s damage to agriculture now at P3.5B


    Damage caused by Typhoon Santi (international codename: Nari) to the country’s agriculture sector now reached P3.5 billion, affecting some 216,378 hectares of agricultural lands in three regions in Luzon.

    In a report, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that farm losses were reported in five regions –Regions 1, 3, and 4-B—following heavy rains brought by Santi.

    Bulk of the damage was recorded in the rice sector valued at P3.26 billion, or 198,985 MT of palay in 214,640 hectares were affected. Nueva Ecija suffered the brunt with 108,722 MT of palay damaged.

    Alcala said the damage to palay crops represents 8 percent of the total projected areas to be harvested in the second half of the year deemed lost.

    “About 7.9 percent of the projected areas to be harvested in the second semester have been affected, which may reduce the expected production by about 1.86 percent of the 10.45 million metric tons of the July to December 2013 national target,” Alcala said.

    Of the total affected palay areas, Alcala said that 203,905 hectares out of the total 216,378 hectares still have a chance of recovery.

    A total of P164.63 million worth of banana crops were lost, while P23.41 million worth of corn were affected, and P83 million high value crops such as vegetables and fruits were also lost.

    The DA said that it is continuously monitoring the situation, adding that it has already put in place various mechanisms to help affected farmers. JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ




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