Agri losses due to natural disasters hit P163B

NATURAL disasters, such as typhoons, damaged P163.6 billion worth of crops, livestock and farm infrastructure in 2011 to 2015, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Based on the agency’s annual report, the DA said natural calamities destroyed 2.89 million metric tons (MMT) of palay and 1.02 MMT of corn.

“The heaviest losses are attributed to some of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in Philippine history,” the report read.

The DA said typhoons Pablo, Yolanda and Glenda were the three most devastating typhoons to hit the country during the period.

Pablo (international code name Bopha), which hit the country in December 2012, was considered the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Mindanao. It caused P29 billion worth of damage in the farm sector, of which P22 billion was incurred by banana farmers.

“This resulted in the negative 6.33-percent growth rate in 2013 for [banana],” the DA said.

Farm damage caused by Yolanda (international code name Haiyan)—the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines—reached P28 billion. Damages incurred by coconut farmers and fishermen amounted to P17.71 billion and P3.71 billion, respectively.

Glenda (international code name Rammasun) dealt the largest damage to the agriculture sector during the period at P33.7 billion, according to the report. Based on records, the coconut subsector incurred P21.2 billion in losses; high-value crops P4.23 billion; and fisheries P5.2 billion.

“The devastation caused by these natural calamities inevitably slowed down the growth of the agri-fishery sector,” the report read.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the agriculture sector grew by 2.34 percent in 2011, 2.92 percent in 2012, 1.15 percent in 2013, 1.83 percent in 2014, and 0.11 percent in 2015.

These figures are below the original 3-percent to 5-percent growth target of the Aquino administration for the agriculture sector.


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