TACLOBAN CITY – Damage and losses to agriculture due to the massive flooding in Samar provinces last week have reached PHP104.96 million, the Department of Agriculture reported Friday.
The weather disturbances have affected 4,571 farmers tilling 2,751 hectares of land in three Samar provinces, the DA regional office revealed in its latest report.
Rice posted the biggest losses at PHP84.50 million, followed by high-value crops at PHP9.21 million, bananas at PHP3.91 million, livestock at PHP2.48 million, and corn at PHP1.29 million.
The whole island of Samar reported to have been affected by too much rainfall. However, it was Northern and Eastern Samar provinces that sustained heavy flooding, according to the agricultural department.
The highest reported damage was observed in Northern Samar, specifically the rice fields, about 1,357 hectares involving around 1,452 farmers.
“Rice cropping season for these areas starts in November this year and is targeted to end by May 2023. It is estimated that the planting will peak by January 2024. However, with this present situation said planting calendar will be modified and will be moved to give way to rehabilitation due to damages,” the DA regional office stated.
The farm department has vowed to provide free rice seeds to affected farmers from four regions spared by flooding brought about by low pressure area and shear line.
DA urged local government units to continuously monitor the field situations and submit damage reports.
Affected farmers are encouraged to immediately report their losses to their respective municipal or city agriculture office for immediate validation and inclusion in the reports.
Eastern Visayas is an agricultural area. Forty-five percent or 976,415 hectares of its total land area is devoted to agriculture, 70 percent of which is used to plant coconut, while 20 percent is for rice and corn and the rest is for other crops. (PNA)