'Juan' damage hits P7.55-B

Posted at 10/22/10 1:12 AM

Damages to agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure due to Typhoon Juan
Agriculture sector in million pesos
Rice 314,577 metric tons of palay (285,447 hectares) Php 5,350
High-value crops 17,583 MT 613
Corn 25,812 MT 348
Fisheries   50
Livestock lost swine, goat, cattle, duck, chicken, turkey 5
Irrigation facilities   1,180
Fisheries infra   1
Classroom and other school facilities   71

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Juan's damage to the agriculture sector jumped to P7.55 billion, prompting the Department of Agriculture (DA) to deploy its regional field units to provide assistance.

Joel S. Rudinas, Undersecretary for operations, told reporters yesterday that the department will be providing assistance in the form of seeds, fingerlings and infrastructure repairs.

"Secretary Proceso J. Alcala gave the order on [Wednesday] to shoulder the whole cost of the assistance for areas that are directly hit," Mr. Rudinas said.

In addition, the regional units are also eyeing to recover as much as 80% of the crops damaged, especially for palay.

"There are chances for recovery for palay lodged and soaked. If you can harvest it within three days or so, and dry it within one or two days, you can recover as much as 80% of it," Mr. Rudinas explained. "We’re hoping that the losses would not be any bigger," he added.

As of 1 p.m. yesterday, typhoon Juan has damaged P7.55 billion worth of crops, livestock and poultry, fisheries and agriculture infrastructure, according to the department’s Situationer Report No. 174 released yesterday.

The highest loss was recorded for rice, which was pegged at P5.35 billion, with a total of 285,447 hectares containing an estimated 314,577 metric tons (MT) of palay damaged.

This is followed by loss in high value commercial crops, with 4,107 hectares containing some 17,583 MT worth P613.49 million damaged.

Damage to corn was recorded at P348.42 million, with 15,474 hectares with an estimated 25,812 MT of corn damaged.

Based on the report, P4.75 million was lost in the livestock and poultry subsector, which included lost swine, goat, cattle, duck, chicken, and turkey.

For the fisheries subsector, P49.94 million was recorded lost from 208 hectares of fish ponds, and 98 units of fish cages.

The department estimated 5.17 million pieces of fingerlings and 365 MT of tilapia, siganids, bangus and vannamei shrimps lost, the report indicated.

Damage to irrigation systems reached P1.18 billion, while damage to fisheries infrastructure reached P950,000.

Mr. Rudinas said the department is not eyeing additional rice imports to cover production loss.

"The National Food Authority has enough rice stock, more than its mandated 30-day buffer stock for the country’s food security," Mr. Rudinas said, adding that the rice production loss is only 4.5% of the forecast production of 6.998 million MT of rice in the last quarter.

Regarding corn production loss, Mr. Rudinas said, "the loss is just 1.61% of the forecast production of 1.6 million MT, so the assessment is it is manageable."

For the second half of the year, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) projected palay production to reach 9.62 million MT, 8.21% higher than last year’s 8.89 million MT output.

Palay production dropped to 6.62 million MT for the first half of the year from 7.38 million MT last year, due to a decrease in the harvest area, based on the bureau’s report.

In a report dated Aug. 20, the bureau expects palay production to reach 16.24 million MT, 6.67% lower than the department’s earlier projection of 17.4 million MT.

The new projection is on the back of crop damages in the first half of the year due to El Niño, and unrealized plantings in the second and third quarter, still due to El Niño.

The BAS forecast corn production for 2010 to reach 6.22 million MT from 7.03 million MT last year. Corn production in the first half of the year was 2.42 million MT, 24.84% lower than last year’s 3.22 million MT, due a decline in harvest area, BAS said in the report.

For the second half of the year, corn production was expected to reach 3.80 million MT, lower than last year’s 3.82 million MT.

The bureau said in the report that harvest area was expected to slightly decrease to 1.546 million hectares from 1.553 million hectares last year, while harvest yield was expected to remain at 2.46 MT per hectare.