AFTER THE STORM. A farmer dries unhusked rice (palay) by the roadside in Baggao, Cagayan on Oct 13, 2021. The province was under Signal No. 2 when Severe Tropical Storm Maring hit Northern Luzon last week. (Photo courtesy of Cagayan Responders)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted an initial PHP822 million worth of various interventions to assist farmers and fisherfolk affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring last week.

As of Monday, total damage in agriculture was estimated at least PHP2.1 billion in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Soccsksargen, affecting 76,442 farmers and fishers, with volume of production loss at 101,818 metric tons (MT) and 85,744 hectares of agricultural areas.

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock and fisheries, irrigation, and agri-facilities.

“We will continue to provide our typhoon and flood-affected farmers and fisherfolk in Northern Luzon and other areas with immediate aid and much-needed assistance to recover and start anew after the damage and loss in their livelihood and income,” DA Secretary William Dar said in an earlier statement.

Of the PHP822 million assistance, PHP650 million will be for the provision of emergency loans under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance Program through the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

Each affected household can borrow PHP20,000 at zero interest, no collateral, and payable in 10 years.

Prior to "Maring", a total area of 28,952 hectares of rice have been harvested from Regions 1 (Ilocos) and 2 (Cagayan Valley) with an equivalent production of 141,635 metric tons amounting to PHP2.08 billion.

As for corn, a total of 13,776 hectares have been harvested from Region 2 with an equivalent production of 55,654 MT amounting to PHP779.15 million. (PNA)