‘Labuyo’ damage negligible, says DA

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The adverse effect of Typhoon “Labuyo” on the agriculture sector’s output this year is “negligible,” even as the assessed damage has climbed to P571.7 million worth of crops.

This was according to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, who said in an interview that while the sector’s output in the third quarter would be lessened, the momentum in production would be regained later in the year.

The Department of Agriculture has set an output target of 20 million tons this year, growing by as much as 5 percent from 18.3 million in 2012.

“Of course, the damage from Labuyo would eat up on third-quarter output but it’s not that big, especially when reckoned with the full-year target,” Alcala said.

“There’s automatically a replacement crop so we would recover in the fourth quarter,” he added.

Alcala said that, for example, corn growers who endured Labuyo are expected to replant by next week.

In the Philippines, a typical cropping cycle for corn takes 90 to 120 days from planting.

Monitoring by the DA shows that corn accounts for two-thirds of lost production due to Labuyo.

Damaged corn in the regions affected —the Cordilleras, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon—was valued at P348.6 million.

Quirino province lost the most corn at P180.3 million or 31 percent of total corn damage.

Some P124.4 million worth of bananas were lost, with Aurora province accounting for P106.4 million.

Damage to palay reached P92.4 million. Isabela chalked up the biggest loss at P26.3 million, followed closely by Quirino and Aurora.

Benguet reported damage to some P2 million worth of vegetables, representing about two-fifths of the P5.3 million total.

Pangasinan reported a loss of P613,860, involving 10 hectares of bangus fishponds.

Aurora’s livestock farmers bore the brunt of Labuyo, recording losses of P251,000—mostly poultry—or three-fourths of total livestock losses.

Overall, Quirino suffered the most with an aggregate production loss worth P209.4 million, while Isabela posted P179.4 million worth of losses.

Aurora province alone lost P132.2 million worth of crops, mostly banana and rice in the towns of Dipaculao, Baler and Maria Aurora.

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