Government Sure of Agricultural Growth Despite 'Pablo' Damage

PHILIPPINES - There's nothing stopping good practices and improved systems, especially in the agriculture sector. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala is confident that the agriculture sector would post a positive growth for the last quarter of the year and that the damage brought about by typhoon Pablo will not cause any shortage in food supply.
calendar icon 11 December 2012
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This was revealed by the agriculture chief during a radio interview over the weekend where he emphasized that the recent calamity will not make a significant dent in the supply of domestic consumption or even in the exports of various agricultural products, specifically of coconut which suffered over P766 million in losses.

This despite seemingly overwhelming damages to agriculture that reached P8.5 billion, with the banana industry suffering the bulk of Pablo’s wrath at P6 billion. Banana was the one of the major industries in the affected regions in Mindanao. Production damage to rice was valued at more than P177 million, while corn posted over P245 million in damages.

Fisheries incurred more than P28 million in damages, while livestock and poultry suffered a total of P393 million combined loss. Agricultural infrastructure suffered a total of P36.2 million in loss, while damages to the country’s rice buffer stocks reached P20 million.

“The over-all figures show that more than P7.9 billion in damages was recorded in Region 11, one of the worst-hit regions in Mindanao,” Mr Alcala said.

As such, DA will roll out a series of interventions to help affected farmers and their families in Davao region.

A total of 15,719 bags of certified rice seeds, as well as open-pollinated variety and hybrid corn seeds will be distributed to be replanted to 35,120 hectares (ha) affected farmlands. Tissue culture plantlets of Cavendish bananas will also be dispensed to replace destroyed bananas in over 20,000-ha plantations.

“We are currently implementing measures to help Cavendish banana growers so that they will be able to meet the delivery schedule of their overseas contracts,” he added.

To assist the exporters fulfill their commitments, government is tapping unaffected plantations in Regions 10, 12 and also in the Autonomous Regions of Muslim Mindanao.

“The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation will be set aside P22M million in insurance claims of banana farmers. DA is also looking at a supplementary budget to cover the cost of rehabilitation assistance,” he announced.

Mr Alcala has also instructed the Philippine Coconut Authority to replant more than P6.6-million worth of coconut and commence the immediate fertilization of affected trees. Meanwhile, the National Irrigation Administration will start the repair and rehabilitation of affected water systems.

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