Damage to fisheries, farm sectors hit P31.1B
The damage that the farming and fisheries sector sustained in the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” has reached P31.1 billion and the Department of Agriculture plans to spend a third of that amount for recovery efforts.
Agriculture Undersecretary Dante S. Delima said in an interview that as of the latest assessment update, production losses totaled P27.07 billion while damage to facilities and infrastructure rose to P5.06 billion.
Of the damage to crops, livestock and fisheries, coconut farms accounted for more than half, or P17.82 billion. Rice farms recorded P3.23 billion, livestock P2.25 billion, and bananas and fisheries at P1.49 billion each.
The livestock sector sustained the greatest burden in terms of infrastructure with “Yolanda” ravaging P2.2 billion worth of facilities and equipment.
Delima said the indicative budget for recovery efforts was pegged at P9.18 billion, including P6.9 billion for livelihood interventions, P770 million for production facilities and P1.46 billion to repair offices and facilities of various DA-attached agencies.
The National Food Authority, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as well as the DA’s regional offices in Eastern Visayas need to rehabilitate or rebuild warehouses, abattoirs, operation centers, patrol vessels and laboratory facilities and equipment.
“Our disaster response efforts are transitioning into the first phase of building long-term resiliency against future (calamities) from the rehabilitation stage,” Delima said.
He said 153,495 hectares of farm land needed to be cleaned and made available again for planting.
At the same time, 500,000 felled coconut trees must be cut and cleared away while 81.27 kilometers of irrigation canals needed de-silting.
Also, 98,427 farmers needed to be provided with seeds and fertilizer while 38,374 households needed farm tools.
The DA has also lined up the deployment of 129 tractors to serve a total of 99,418 hectares of farm land.
Further, 146,745 fisherfolk needed to be provided with bancas and fishing gear.
Delima said international donors have committed help in farm sector rehabilitation, including the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (both of the United Nations), the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Asian Development Bank.
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