MANILA, Sept 28 (Mabuhay) — The estimated damage to agriculture caused by Typhoon Karding (Noru) has risen to PHP1.29 billion.

(MNS photo)

According to the Department of Agriculture-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DA-DRRMO), six regions have been primarily affected as “Karding” traversed Luzon.

“Damage and losses have been reported in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and Bicol Region amounting to P1.29 billion affecting 82,158 farmers and fisherfolk,” the DA said.

The estimated loss to rice production was PHP959.8 million, followed by high-value crops at PHP271.4 million, and corn production at PHP40.5 million. Likewise, losses in fisheries and livestock were estimated to be worth PHP17 million and PHP0.56 million, respectively.

Currently, the total volume loss is at 72,231 metric tons (MT), affecting 141,312 hectares of agricultural areas, the majority of the figure affecting rice production.

However, the DA said these figures are still subject to validation and may change as the DA-DRRMO updates on-the-ground data.

The Agriculture department vowed to provide millions worth of assistance in kind, particularly the distribution of seeds of rice, corn, and high-value crops.

Included in the DA’s aid are PHP27.47 million worth of rice seeds, PHP13.23 million worth of corn seeds, and PHP12.64 million worth of assorted vegetable seeds; as well as PHP2.45 million worth of animal heads, drugs, and biologics for livestock and poultry.

The DA has also promised to distribute fingerlings and fishing paraphernalia; loanable amounts of up to PHP25,000 under the Survival and Recovery Loan Program, and the activation of the PHP500-million Quick Response Fund.

The loanable amount will be “payable for three years at zero interest.” (MNS)