Assorted vegetables, bananas, coffee take hit from Taal eruption
MANILA, Philippines — Assorted vegetables, bananas, and coffee were among the commodities damaged by Taal Volcano’s steam-driven eruption, the Department of Agriculture (DA) revealed Wednesday.
During the weekly economic briefing at the Palace, Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said total damage in agriculture has reached P577.39 million, covering 2,772 hectares of land.
Over 56 percent of the P577.39 million agricultural damage came from assorted vegetables, followed by bananas (20.96 percent), coffee (10.91 percent), corn (7.18 percent), and other commodities such as rice and livestock (4.85 percent).
Help for farmers and fisherfolk
In a move to help affected farmers, Cayanan said a total of P21.7 million of combined interventions for crops and livestock will be distributed to 16 local government units (LGUs) in Batangas.
Once aquaculture operations in the Taal Lake resumes, Cayanan also said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will prepare assistance to fishermen.
This includes seven million fingerlings for tilapia; 20,000 for Ulang; 50,000 for hito; 100,000 for bighead carp; and 5,000 fingerlings for Ayungin.
Cayanan added that the Bureau of Animal Industry also has available drugs and biologics to be provided for affected livestock.
Two trucks are likewise available to aid in animal rescue and evacuation in the affected areas, according to the DA official.
Around 1,200 farmers and fisherfolk in Batangas are also expected to benefit from the Survival and RecoveryLoan Assistance, he said.
Cayanan further assured that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation has enough funds to pay for the indemnity of the affected insured farmers and fisherfolk.
In terms of helping evacuees and other affected residents, Cayanan said the National Food Authority also has an initial stock of 168,758 bags of rice ready for distribution.
Taal Volcano is still placed under Alert Level 4, which is characterized by “intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms, including harmonic tremor and/or low-frequency earthquakes”. Alert Level 4 also means that a fiery explosion is imminent within hours or days.
Edited by KGA
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