Typhoon Ulysses’ damage to agri sector rises to P4-B

Published November 18, 2020, 12:44 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Typhoon Ulysses has already incurred nearly P4 billion worth of damage to the country’s agriculture sector, with rice as the most affected crop.

Data from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) showed that as of November 18, the damage and losses that the farm sector so far sustained from the typhoon already rose to P3.84 billion, affecting 104,733 farmers and fisherfolk.

Ulysses, the deadliest typhoon that hit the country so far for this year, also brought damages to as much as 101,904 hectares of agricultural areas, with volume of production loss at 160,873 metric tons (MT).

The affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, fisheries, livestock, irrigation facilities, and agricultural infrastructures in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and Bicol Region.

The regions that sustained the most damage are Region 3 and Region 2, particularly the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, and Nueva Ecija. Combined, the damages sustained by these two regions stood at more than P2 billion.

Next to these regions is Calabarzon, particularly the provinces of Quezon and Rizal, which sustained P842 million worth of damages and losses.

The most affected crop is rice, incurring P1.9 billion worth of damages so far. The typhoon particularly wiped out 120,000 MT of palay across 68,374 hectares of rice farms. Of this, 16,059 hectares have no chance of recovery.

Most affected provinces in terms of this crop are Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac.

“Affected DA regional field offices [RFO] are continuously conducting field validation to further assess the damage and losses in the agriculture and fisheries sector,” DA said.

The DA also assured affected farmers and fishers of available assistance, including rice, corn and assorted vegetable seed reserves to be distributed by DA’s RFOs, as well as drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry.

DA will also give farmers and fishermen the option to obtain loans from Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Survival and Recovery (SURE) program, while Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) is now ready to provide indemnification to eligible farmers. 

The other day, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the DA is allotting more than P6-billion worth of agricultural and fishery inputs, seeds, fertilizers, and implements, financial aid and zero-interest emergency and livelihood loans, and crop insurance to assist farmers and fishers severely affected by typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.

Combined, these three typhoons so far resulted in P12 billion worth of damage and losses to the farm sector.  

Dar already ordered all DA and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (BFAR) regional directors to monitor unaffected production areas and assess the viability of transporting farm and fishery commodities to Metro Manila and other major consumption centers.