Agricultural damage due to 'Karding' rises to ₱2.02B

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — Damage and losses to agriculture from Typhoon Karding ballooned to ₱2.02 billion, the Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

In its latest bulletin, the agency said the estimate covers the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region and Western Visayas.

It added that the typhoon affected nearly 150,700 hectares of farm lands, along with more than 91,900 farmers and fisherfolk.

Rice suffered the worst within the agricultural sector, accounting for ₱1.66 billion of the latest estimated damage.

Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, however, allayed concerns over the national rice supply.

Sa aming palagay, hindi magkakaroon ng malaking shortage ang bigas at ang palay the next year. Kinakailangan natin magkaroon tayo ng buffer stock na 60 days para nang sa ganon ay mapunuan natin ang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan kung saka-sakaling magkaroon ng shortfall. At ito’y mina-maintain natin,” Panganiban said in a public briefing.

[Translation: We think there will be no major rice shortage next year. We need 60 days’ worth of buffer stock so that we can address the needs of our fellow countrymen should there be shortfall. We are maintaining this.]

Next to rice, damage to high value crops was at ₱271.6 million, corn at ₱43.6 million, fisheries at ₱43 million, and livestock and poultry at ₱7.9 million, the department said.

To aid farmers and fisherfolk, the DA said it prepared the following forms of assistance:

- ₱170.34 million in rice seeds, ₱23.16 million in corn seeds, ₱13.55 million in assorted vegetable seeds

- ₱2.45 million in animal heads, drugs, and biologics for livestock and poultry

- fingerlings and fishing paraphernalia

- Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, which allows up to ₱25,000 per individual payable in three years with no interest

- ₱500 million Quick Response Fund for rehabilitating affected areas

The agency also set up mobile KADIWA centers in areas hit by the typhoon to ensure stable prices and supply.

Karding blew out into the South China Sea on Monday evening, leaving 11 people dead and 6 others missing.