THE DAMAGE to agriculture inflicted by typhoon Rosita (international name: Yutu) hit P2.60 billion, affecting 103,605 hectares of land in the Cordillera Administrative region and Regions 1 to 3, based on estimates issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (DRRMC).
Lost output was reckoned at 134,123 metric tons (MT), with 20,453 farmers affected. The greatest damage was sustained by the rice crop, with lost production worth P2.11 billion, affecting 86,215 hectares. The lost volume was estimated at 107,313 MT.
Lost corn production was P83.18 million on lost volume of a 2,371 MT affecting 9,815 hectares.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that storm damage could still increase over the remainder of the year as more typhoons traverse key agricultural zones.
“It’s not going to be a rosy picture for 2018,” Mr. Piñol said in a briefing on Tuesday.
Mr. Piñol said that the rice harvest this year is still expected to be higher than the 17.63 million MT produced in 2016, but less than the 19.28 million MT recorded in 2017.
“Our projection for 2018 is 19.4 million MT, so minus 800,000 MT (to account for total storm damage for the year) brings us to 18.6 million MT — a million MT higher than 2016 but about 600,000 MT lower than 2017,” Mr. Piñol said.
Production losses in high-value crops meanwhile totaled P379 million; livestock, P2.51 million, fisheries, P13.56 million, and agricultural facilities, P15 million.
Mr. Piñol noted that farmers in Isabela did not insure their livestock, and has directed the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) to offer coverage. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio