Agricultural losses from Typhoon Ompong hit P14 billion
MANILA, Philippines – Damage to agriculture from Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) ballooned to an estimated P14.3 billion on Tuesday, September 18, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The initial cost of damage is nearly double what Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol estimated would be "worst-case scenario" losses of about P7.9 billion.
Office of Civil Defense Spokesperson Edgar Posadas earlier said the NDRRMC pegged the cost of damage to agriculture at about P2.8 billion as of Monday, September 17. But this was only for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
He said losses were likely to increase as the NDRRMC has yet to fully assess the damage to crops.
Agricultural losses of about P14.3 billion include damage in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and CAR.
The NDRRMC's report as of noon on Tuesday gave the following breakdown:
- Rice - P8.96 billion
- Corn - P4.49 billion
- High value commercial crops - P788 million
- Livestock and poultry - P5.5 million
- Agriculture infrastructure - P82 million
Around 171,932 farmers were affected by Ompong in CAR, according to the NDRRMC. The number of affected farmers from other regions has not yet been recorded.
Strong winds and intense rain from Ompong flooded fields and farms as many crops were only weeks or even days away from harvest. (READ: Cagayan farmers on Ompong-hit crops: 'Like losing gamble vs nature')
Piñol previously estimated that the typhoon would affect a total of 1,220,000 hectares of rice and corn.
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