PH agriculture sector prepares for post-Yolanda Replanting
by FFE PH News staff
To help farmers whose crops have been damaged by super typhoon Yolanda, the Department of Agriculture has announced that replacement seeds are ready to be distributed in affected areas.
Agriculture secretary Proceso J. Alcala said ‘we have provisions as a standard response to agricultural damage due to calamities.’ The secretary added that undersecretary and National Rice Programme head Dante S. Delima is now readying a quick-response team to assess the situation and help farmers.
Delima announced earlier that around 300,000 metric tonnes of palay have been damaged due to bad weather this year. This is half of the 600,000 metric tonnes of buffer palay stocks the government has prepared for 2013 — enough to cover 400,000 hectares of rice land or 1/10 of the total hectares of land devoted to rice in the Philippines.
The National Food Authority (NFA) likewise announced it has stocks of milled rice ready for distribution to those affected by the super typhoon. NFA administrator Orlan Calayag said local government units and relief agencies nationwide have access to rice stocks during emergencies.
He added that NFA field offices are already on the alert as soon as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration gives out warnings about approaching typhoons. NFA has so far given out 25,850 sacks of milled rice for victims of heavy rains in the past two months, the earthquake in Visayas and the standoff in Zamboanga City.