Farmers quickly harvested P7 billion worth of standing paddy rice and P2.17 billion worth of corn before Typhoon Ambo struck the Philippines, averting farm losses that may negatively impact on the country’s food supply during the lean months.
The Agriculture Department over the weekend reported that farmers reaped 416,732 metric tons of paddy rice and 208,890 MT of corn just before the typhoon entered the country.
An early advisory issued by Department to regional field offices saved 93,507 hectares of rice and 75,467 hectares planted to corn in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions I, II, III, IV-A, V, VI, VII and VIII.
Meanwhile, initial damage and losses were placed at P185.83 million as the typhoon destroyed some rice and corn fields, high value crops and even livestock in CALABARZON, Bicol and Eastern Visayas Regions.
The typhoon affected the livelihood of 40,872 farmers with 9,977 hectares of agricultural areas destroyed and 10,366 MT of volume loss. The data, however, is still subject to validation.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar instructed regional executive directors in affected regions to thoroughly assess the damage and losses in crops, livestock and fisheries, including farm infrastructures and buildings, and provide emergency assistance to farmers and fisherfolk.
Farmers and fisherfolk who lost income to the typhoon will be provided the so-called Quick Response Fund worth P700 million for the rehabilitation of affected areas; prepositioned rice seeds of 109,586 bags, 10,116 bags of corn seeds, assorted vegetable seeds; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry needs; and enough funds from Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to indemnify farmers
Damage assessment and field validation are being conducted by the RFOs in regions affected by the typhoon.
Despite the impact on agriculture, rain showers from Typhoon Ambo raised the level of stored water in dams in Central Luzon, especially in Angat and Pantabangan.
The typhoon will likely exit the Philippines Monday afternoon.