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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DA extends assistance to help typhoon-affected farmers

The Department of Agriculture will implement an initial set of interventions to help farm families recover from crop damage due to typhoon ‘Pedring.’

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, in a memorandum to President Benigno S. Aquino III, said the DA through the National Food Authority (NFA) will buy storm-damaged palay to provide farmers enough money for their subsistence.

The DA will also assist them to replant as soon as possible by providing them free certified seeds from the DA seed buffer stock.

Likewise, the DA will implement a ‘Quick-Turn-Around’ (QTA) palay production program to recover the losses due to typhoons.

Sec. Alcala said the DA will link up with agribusiness enterprises, particularly fertilizer and seed companies, to encourage them to implement a plant-now, pay-later scheme, coupled with a rice marketing tie-up with the NFA.

The DA will also implement a credit program through cooperative rural banks (CRBs) in typhoon-affected provinces to provide farmers crop production loans. The DA through the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) has initially allotted P400 million for said credit program.

Sec. Alcala said palay damage estimate as of October 4, 2011 has reached 760,207 metric tons (MT), which represents 7.7% of the 2nd semester projected harvest of 9.88 million MT.

Despite the damage, Sec. Alcala said in his memo to President Aquino there is no need to import additional rice for 2011.

He said the DA has created an inter-agency task force to assess and validate the actual damage, particularly on palay, corn and high value crops.

He said this effort will complement the ongoing October 2011 palay production survey, which is conducted every quarter by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

The survey results will include the final estimate of the 3rd quarter palay production, the projected 4th quarter palay production based on standing crop, and projected 2012 1st quarter production based on farmers’ planting intentions. DA Information Service

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