MANILA, Nov 4 (Mabuhay) — Typhoon Paeng has affected more than 74,900 farmers and fishers, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Thursday.

(MNS photo)

The total damage in the agriculture sector was pegged at PHP2.74 billion, with at least 101,831 metric tons of production loss.

As for the poultry and livestock industry, the estimated total value affected was PHP9.49 million.

“(The DA’s) regional field offices have allocations and interventions, such as distribution of rice, corn, and assorted vegetable seeds. For the fisheries sector, there are fingerlings and paraphernalia for the fishers. Fishers who have damaged boats can also be assisted,” DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said at a public briefing.

Farmers can also avail of an up to PHP25,000 loan payable in three years with zero interest, Evangelista added.

She said the DA is working with local government units (LGUs) to reduce the prices of commodities in trading posts.

“We are closely working with the LGUs and those managing the different trading posts, so we could see the necessary intervention to lower vegetable prices. We have monitored price increase in the markets,” she said.

Evangelista said that based on the DA’s monitoring, prices of vegetables have increased between PHP20 and PHP30.

Some had a PHP40 increase but the DA is looking at reducing this to PHP10 and PHP20 until the prices reach the pre-typhoon level.

Meanwhile, Evangelista said the DA is studying the provision of crop insurance to the farmers.

“We are looking at how we can make insurance more efficient to the farmers because this is one of the ways to make them feel protected,” she said.

She urged the public to reach out to the DA’s regional field offices, which she said are open to providing interventions and assistance.

“Our regional field offices, together with the LGUs, municipal and provincial agriculturists are working 24/7 to help them,” Evangelista said. (MNS)