‘Karding’ aftermath: Agri losses reach P141M

Agricultural damage and losses due to typhoon “Karding,” which devastated parts of Luzon, have reached P141.38 million as of Monday noon.

The Department of Agriculture reported that affected farmers and fishers stood at 749 — with the volume of production loss at 5,886 metric tons and 16,229 hectares of agricultural areas.

The damage and losses were reported in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

Based on the latest data, the rice sub-sector suffered the most with P107.6 million incurred losses. Meanwhile, the corn sub-sector sustained at least P9.22 million in losses.

The high-value crop sub-sector also reported a total of P24.55 million in losses, where about 88 hectares were affected.

The DA also noted that damage was also incurred in agricultural infrastructures, machinery, and equipment, subject to validation.

The DA said 133,240 bags of rice seeds, 5,729 bags of corn seeds, and 4,911 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds from affected regions are available for distribution.

It added that a P500 million worth of Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas is ready to be activated.

The center of the eye of typhoon “Karding” was estimated based on all available data at 230 km West of Dagupan City, Pangasinan moving West northwestward at 30 km/h. It has maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 160 km/h.

Until Monday afternoon, light to moderate with at times heavy rain is forecast over Zambales, Bataan, Lubang Islands, and the western portion of Pangasinan.

P15,000 subsidy for farmers

Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas has urged the Marcos administration to provide farmers with a P15,000 production subsidy after super typhoon “Karding” wrecked their crops and left massive damage to their farmlands.

“The significant production subsidy for our farmers needs to be funded. Due to the Rice Tariffication Law and rising oil costs, they suffered significant losses, and now their harvests have been ruined,” Brosas said Sunday.

The lawmaker proposed that the President use the remaining funds in the contingency fund and the portions of the unprogrammed fund designated for cash assistance to rice farmers.

She said they would also work to have the P15,000 production subsidy for 9.7 million farmers and fishermen included in the projected 2023 budget.

“Funding for this can be sought from obscure lump sum items such as the redundant LGU support funds, and NTF ELCAC funds,” Brosas said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Wilbert Lee emphasized the critical role that post-harvest facilities such as grain and seed storage play in making rural communities more disaster-resistant.

“We must stop this vicious cycle where our farmers always register losses because of the lack of storage and other facilities to mitigate the effects of typhoons,” Lee said, noting that the DA’s budget for post-harvest facilities must be increased to resolve this issue.

During last week’s plenary debate on the DA’s budget for 2023, Lee questioned the Agriculture department about why the agency continued to propose low funding for post-harvest operations despite farmers’ repeated challenges in this stage of the agriculture value chain.

House Bill 3958, or the “Post-Harvest Facilities Support Act” filed by Lee, will mandate the government to construct and provide post-harvest facilities across the country, particularly in agricultural areas, to reduce post-harvest production losses and increase agricultural worker income.


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