Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Odette-affected farmers and fisherfolk receive P3-billion worth of interventions from DA

Author: DA Communications Group | 20 January 2022

The Department of Agriculture (DA) released a total of 3-billion-peso worth of agricultural interventions to aid farmers and fisherfolk affected by Typhoon Odette, which caused havoc in almost 10 regions, with the Visayas severely hit.

“For the last two weeks of January, the DA has been doubling its efforts in the distribution of these interventions to farmers and fishers who have been heavily affected by the typhoon,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

Of the P3 billion, P1 billion came from the Quick Response Fund (QRF) of the Department for the rehabilitation of affected areas particularly in regions 6, 7, 8, 13, and MIMAROPA which have been directly hit by Typhoon Odette.

Also, P828 million was set aside by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) as potential payout to around 79,217 insured farmers and fishers affected by the typhoon.

The SURE Loan Assistance Program of the DA under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) also allotted P500-million worth of loan which will benefit 20,000 affected farmers and fishers. This program features P25,000 loanable amount per household, with zero interest, no collateral, and payable up to three years.

To aid farm recovery efforts, the DA distributed P500 million worth of certified rice, corn, and assorted vegetable seeds; P1.63 million worth of seednuts, seedlings, and fertilizers from the Philippine Coconut Authority; P6.6 million worth of animal stocks, drugs, and biologics for livestock and poultry; and P.2 million worth of farm inputs from Philippine Fiber Industry and Development Authority.

The fisheries sector through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also provided P31.58 million worth of interventions such as fiber boats, marine diesel engine, banca repairs, and various fishery products as relief goods.

To date, agricultural damages and losses from Typhoon Odette translate to P13.3 billion, with 462,766 hectares of agricultural areas affected and 273,062 metric tons of total volume loss agonizing 533,709 farmers and fishers.

Although the interventions were not enough compared to the damages that the typhoon caused, Secretary Dar assured that “this is a good start.” He also guaranteed that the inventory of basic commodities such as rice, livestock, poultry, and fishery products are enough.

“We keep a positive inventory of rice, which will be good for 115 days. We also have a combination of local supplies and imported frozen pork, and as for fish products, we are enhancing our aquaculture to come forward to elevate fish cuts as we have closed the fishing season this quarter,” Secretary Dar said.

“In spite of all these challenges, the Philippines, with the combination of enhancing local production and supply augmentation from other countries, sapat po ang pagkain ng ating bansa,” the secretary concluded. ### (Daryl Lou Battad, DA StratComms)

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