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LEGAZPI, Philippines – At least 9,000 rice farmers in the Bicol region suffered P87.3 million in losses after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae) damaged 5,892 hectares of farmlands in Camarines Sur and Albay provinces alone, Department of Agriculture regional spokesperson Lovella Guarin said on Monday, October 31.
The DA regional office said rice farmers lost 4.6-million metric tons (MT) of palay from floods and heavy winds of Paeng.
Overall, the storm cost the regional agriculture sector P91.7 million in initial damage.
Guarin placed the total number of affected farmers at 9,414, covering 5,954 hectares.
“The combined volume of loss in crops and fisheries was 4,617,300 metric tons,” she said. One-MT is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms.
The bulk of the damage to rice farms was in Camarines Sur, with 5,044 hectares affected. Albay reported damage to 848 hectares.
“It is expected to increase in the coming days when the report from other provinces and municipalities will be submitted to our office,” Guarin said.
The DA said 604 hectares were destroyed – meaning farmers won’t see any harvest – and 5,288 hectares partially damaged.
“A farmer with one-hectare palay plantation with the pre-calamity yield estimate of 4 MT per hectare, could have lost P68,000 due to Paeng,” the DA regional spokesperson pointed out.
Farmers with partially damaged crops will see a 25% yield loss – a harvest of only 3 MT per hectare, which translates to a loss of P17,000.
The DA official said farmers can file a notice of loss with the office of the municipal agriculturist in their area to claim indemnification from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).
The DA has also readied rehab assistance like rice seeds, corn seeds, garden tools, vitamins and biologics for livestock, and animal feed, she added. Loans under Agri Negosyo are also available.
If a local government unit declares a state of calamity, farmers can avail of P25,000 in aid at zero interest, payable in five years, said Guarin.
Based on initial assessments by DA regional field offices, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen regions registered P285.28 million in lost income, affecting 8,608 farmers and fishers.
The initial total volume of production loss stands at 11,761 metric tons (MT) and 13,408 hectares of agricultural areas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops and fisheries.
There was also damage in agricultural facilities. These values are subject to validation. Mobile KADIWA centers are being set up for rolling out in areas affected by Paeng to stabilize prices and supply of agri-fishery commodities. – Rappler.com