P700-M had to clean up agricultural sector affected by “Odette” in W. Visayas – Archyde

DAMAGED. Typhoon Odette devastates agricultural infrastructure in the western Visayas in this December photo. The Western Visayas Department of Agriculture, Regional Executive Director Remelyn Recoter said on Saturday (January 15, 2022) has submitted a PHP 700 million rehabilitation program to its headquarters. (Photo courtesy of DA Western Visayas Regional Agri-Fishery Information Section)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas (Region 6) needs around PHP700 million to rehabilitate its sector damaged by Typhoon Odette on December 17.

Remelyn Recoter, DA’s Regional Executive Director for Western Visayas, said Saturday that their proposed rehabilitation plan was submitted to DA headquarters on Jan. 7, and according to feedback, the region will receive PHP 135 million, or about 12 percent of the target.

The budget, she said, will come from the realigned DA 2021 budget, the General Appropriations Act 2022 and the Quick Response Fund.

The DA also does not rule out the possibility of support from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The department will also assist commercial agricultural operations in seeking financing from the Land Bank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation will also indemnify insured goods.

Losses worth over PHP5.78 billion were reported in the western Visayas, with rice and high-value crops among the hardest-hit.

While waiting for the fund, Recoter said they have buffer stocks of around 5,000 sacks ready for Palay farmers in the region.

“There are buffer stocks left in 2021. (DA) Secretary William Dar has directed other regions with buffer stocks to turn them over to affected regions,” she said in an interview.

She added that Central Luzon will send 4,000 bags of certified seeds, while Calabarzon will send 1,000 bags.

The transfer is still being processed as the Western Visayas Regional Office will cover the cost of transportation.

The Philippine Rice Research Institute has around 2,000 bags of puffer seeds.

“If they’re not enough, we also have pre-orders for the 2022 buffer stocks,” added Recoter.

Affected farmers are expected to use the replacement seed for their crops during the rainy season.

“The bulk is 2022 because most are in their vegetative stage, seedlings or newly established,” Recoter said.

Given the huge losses, the Regional Office expects a 2 per cent reduction in sufficiency levels this year from 135 per cent last year.

While this is small at the macro level, the impact on farmers is huge, especially those with near-harvest Palays that are completely damaged, Recoter added.

The regional office now has around 400 kilos of sorted vegetable seeds that are to be distributed to vegetable farmers.

It is given as a jump-start to use in the meantime for backyard gardening as the Regional Office procures more vegetable seeds. (PNA)

Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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