AGRICULTURAL DAMAGE from Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) has reached P11.5 billion, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

This is equivalent to 405,921 farmers and fishers across 435,447 hectares of agricultural areas. The volume of production loss was at 257,672 metric tons (MT). 

Fisheries was the most affected sector with P3 billion in losses or 26.2% of the total damage. This was followed by rice, with losses valued at P2.6 billion or 22.2% of the total, high-value crops such as banana and cacao at P1.6 billion or 13.7%, and coconut at P1.5 billion. 

Other affected crops include sugarcane, abaca, and livestock. There was also damage to agricultural infrastructures, machineries and equipment. 

Losses were mainly reported in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, SOCCSKSARGEN, and the Caraga region. 

The DA said it was able to save 11,454 hectares of rice or 34,433 MT worth P615.53 million and 2,452 hectares of corn or 6,965 MT worth P82.55 million ahead the typhoon. 

The government will provide P828 million from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to indemnify affected farmers, P500 million under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program, and P47 million worth of assistance from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) also said in a press release that it would distribute generators to Negros Occidental due electrical shortages caused by the storm. 

“We will try to address all requests because if everything is in order, we have no excuses in accomplishing our goals of serving our farmers,” DAR Field Operations Office Undersecretary Elmer N. Distor said. — L.M.J.C. Jocson