CROP DAMAGE due to Taal’s eruption was estimated at P3.17 billion a week after the volcano started emitting ash, with the fisheries sector accounting for more than half of the total, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a bulletin issued Saturday night, the DA noted that the ashfall damaged 43,772 metric tons (MT) of agricultural commodities, over 15,790 hectares of land in CALABARZON, which is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

It also “caused the death of 55,881 head of various farm animals. The large increase in animal deaths was due to the additional reports from validated areas in Batangas and Cavite.”

Fisheries accounted for 50.5% or P1.6 billion equivalent to 6,000 fish cages. Affected municipalities include Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo, and San Nicolas, Batangas.

The pineapple industry accounted for 16.6% or P527.25 million. This covers 862 hectares and 21,079 MT of pineapple, mainly affecting General Trias, Amadeo, and Silang, Cavite.

Coffee damage was P360.5 million, or 11.4% of the total, over 4,309 hectares, equivalent to 8,240 MT of damaged production. Areas affected include Taal, Agoncillo, Lemery, San Nicolas, Laurel, Balete, and Talisay, all in Batangas; Calamba and Cabuyao in Laguna; and Amadeo and Silang in Cavite.

Damage to the coconut crop was P188 million or 5.9% of the total, affecting 8,700 hectares in Batangas.

Damage to the banana crop was P138.59 million, or 4.4% of the total, over 821 hectares with 7,338 MT of damaged production. Affected areas were San Nicolas, Batangas and Amadeo, General Trias, and Silang, Cavite.

Damage to the fruit and vegetable crop was P124.13 million, or 3.9% of the total, covering 197 hectares and 1,453 MT of production. Areas affected include Tanauan, San Nicolas, Balete, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Taal, Santa Teresita, Calaca, Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas, and Silang, Amadeo, General Trias, and Magallanes in Cavite.

Corn damage was P88.9 million and livestock P20.1 million. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang