HOPEFUL. Despite the series of typhoons that devastated the agricultural areas, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the country is seen to attain a record harvest of 19.44 million metric tons (MMT) of palay this year. For 2021, the DA is targeting a production of 20.48 MMT to a high of 20.66 MMT. (PNA file photo

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has recorded a total of PHP129.76 million losses incurred due to Tropical Storm Vicky in various agricultural areas.

On Wednesday, DA announced the typhoon has affected 16,761 farmers and fisherfolk. At least 21,008 hectares of agricultural areas and 1,202 metric tons (MT) of production was lost.

"The affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and fisheries in Cagayan Valley, Davao and Caraga regions. The increase in values is attributed to the additional reports from Davao and Caraga regions," the DA said in its report.

The DA continues to provide appropriate interventions to the affected farmers to help them kick-off with their recovery.

Rice, corn, and vegetable seed reserves and drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry from DA Regional Field Offices are being distributed.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have also been giving out fingerlings and fisheries paraphernalia.

DA also urged victims to avail of the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and Indemnification fund from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to pay for the losses incurred.

From the SURE aid, PHP5,000 will automatically be given to a qualified beneficiary while the affected farmer has the option to apply for the PHP20,000 loan program which is not collateralized and is payable for 10 years.

Meanwhile, the DA reported that despite losing about 419,560 MT of palay due to several typhoons, the country is seen to attain a record harvest of 19.44 million MT this year.

“We owe this year’s all-time palay production to the resilience and hard work of our country’s farmers, and strong support of our local government units and the private sector, who altogether contributed to attaining such remarkable feat,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

From January to November 2020, the country lost a total of 419,560 MT of palay worth PHP6.94 billion, due mostly to four strong typhoons in October and November.

Typhoons Ulysses incurred 145,800 MT damage; "Quinta" destroyed 112,000 MT; "Rolly" has devastated 64,250 MT; and "Pepito" has destroyed 63,160 MT.

“Had it not been for the typhoons and other challenges, we could have produced more. For 2021, we are targeting a conservative production of 20.48 MMT to a high of 20.66 MMT,” Dar said. (PNA