DA says Bicol loses 32,000 MTs of rice to 2 recent typhoons

January 30, 2015 1:50 am 

By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 29 (PNA) — Bicol lost a total of more than 32,000 metric tons (MTs) of rice worth about Php313 million to the two tropical storms that hit the region successively between early December 2014 and the middle of this month, or 47 days apart from each, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

This means that the current rice cropping season, which started in November last year and ending this coming February, will be short of this volume of harvest due to damages rendered by the two typhoons -— “Amang” and “Ruby” — to nearly 19,000 hectares of farms tilled by some 15,000 farmers in the region’s six provinces.

About 10,000 hectares of these rice fields have been given no chance of recovery until the next planting period, a belated consolidated report reaching the Philippines News Agency here Thursday from the DA regional office based in Pili, Camarines Sur, said.

Typhoon “Amang” hit the region last January 18 with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph which dumped excessive rains that triggered massive landslides and floods over the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate and Sorsogon.

Some 4,945 hectares of rice fields in these five provinces were destroyed by this typhoon–1,342 hectares of which totally, with no chance of recovery.

Harvest lost was placed at 9,800 MTs worth Php60 million.

Sorsogon sustained the biggest production loss of 4,522 MTs compared to the other four provinces.

Camarines Sur, with 3,700 MTs damaged, came next; followed by Camarines Norte, 732 MT; Albay, 725 MTs; and Masbate, 120 MTs, the report said.

The corn sector in Camarines Sur and Masbate also lost a total of 56 MTs in projected harvest worth over Php595,000.

Typhoon “Ruby,” which was considered the most intense tropical cyclone that hit the country in 2014, impacted Bicol on Dec. 9 with at least 175 kph sustained winds and gustiness of up to 210 kph, leaving behind destruction to the region’s rice production worth Php253.3 million, representing an estimated harvest lost of over 24,000 MTs, the DA report said.

This typhoon ravaged a total of 13,981 hectares of rice plantations owned by around 12,000 farmers in five provinces with 8,557 hectares left with no chance of recovery during the current cropping season, it said.

The hardest impact this time was borne by Camarines Sur, which lost 12,700 MTs worth Php143 million of projected harvest from its around 8,900 hectares of rice farms, wherein some 5,518 hectares were left with no chance of recovery.

Albay followed by losing around 5,300 MTs worth Php51.3 million from its 2,423 hectares paddies which were either swept by strong winds, submerged by floods or buried under debris of landslides, which gave 1,164 hectares no chance of recovery, the DA report said.

Masbate came next with 2,658 MTs worth Php27.3 million in lost harvest from its 1,124 hectares of rice farms with 1,014 hectares rendered totally damaged and no chance of recovery.

The island-province of Catanduanes lost around 2,000 MTs worth some Php31 million of estimated rice harvest from its 1,072 hectares of paddies destroyed; while Sorsogon incurred the least damages from that end of 2014 typhoon compared to the other Bicol provinces by registering only 1,491 MTs worth Php1.4 million in missed production from 526 hectares of farms, the DA report said.

The region’s corn sector was also affected by “Glenda” with some 6,525 MTs worth Php25 million in expected harvests from the 2,855 hectares of plantation destroyed.

These rice production losses, however, are not expected to noticeably affect the rice self-sufficiency status of the region this year insofar as this cropping season hit by two successive typhoons is concerned, according to DA Regional Executive Director Abelardo Bragas.

All in all, Bicol’s rice sector lost around 160,087 MTs in palay yield to that twin climate troubles last year but yet, its RSS status realized was not significantly impaired because the DA was able to swiftly put in place packages of response toward instant farm recovery realized before the coming of “Ruby”, he said.

“We are now doing the same interventions designed as a massive rehabilitation-recovery effort from the two latest typhoons to recoup production losses by the next cropping season,” Bragas said.

These interventions, he said, involve distribution of certified rice seeds and fertilizers free to farmers affected. (PNA)



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