DA to farmers: Harvest now before #RubyPH makes landfall

DA to farmers: Harvest now before #RubyPH makes landfall
(UPDATED) At risk of destruction are 691,692 hectares of rice lands and 303,542 hectares dedicated to corn already in the maturity stage, says Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Farmers in the path of Typhoon Ruby (international codename: Hagupit) are urged to harvest their maturing crops before the typhoon makes landfall on Saturday, December 6.

Based on the state weather bureau PAGASA’s 4 pm bulletin on Thursday, December 4, the center of Ruby was located at 720 kilometer east of Surigao City with winds of up to 205 km/hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 240 km/hour. It will be 360 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar on Friday afternoon, December 5 and is expected to hit land in the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area by Saturday afternoon, December 6.

Typhoon Ruby is expected to thread the same areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). Apart from the areas already under storm signals, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, Western Visayas, Bicol, and northeast Mindanao may be affected by the typhoon.

At risk of destruction are 691,692 hectares of rice lands and 303,542 hectares dedicated to corn already in the maturity stage, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said in a statement. 

“We advise our farmers to immediately harvest their crops before Ruby arrives. We want to minimize the effect of this typhoon,” Alcala said.

DA regional executive directors have been ordered to issue warnings to farmers and fisherfolk in the impact areas.

Regional directors are also instructed to regularly monitor developments from the weather bureau for proper guidance.

As the weather bureau warns of possible storm surge, Alcala advised fisherfolk in the area not to venture out into sea to prevent mishaps.

Alcala added that the department is now positioning seeds in municipalities to be used in emergency replanting for areas to be affected.

In Eastern Visayas alone, the DA, through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), has prepared for distribution 3,800 50-kilogram (kg) bags of certified rice seeds and 8,300 50-kg bags of hybrid rice seeds.

The relocation of livestock and other farm animals before the typhoon landfall has also been ordered.

Alcala said the government has been on its toes, planning and preparing ever since Super Typhoon Yolanda brought havoc to the agriculture sector last year.

DA regional offices in unaffected areas were also ordered to extend assistance to affected places. – Rappler.com

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