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Crop losses surge to four times earlier estimates

September 29, 2009 5:41pm

Crop damages by storm 'Ondoy' have risen to nearly four-times more than earlier estimates, an updated report filed Tuesday afternoon by the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Farm losses resulting from continuous 24-hour rainfall during the weekend reached P3.2 billion, a day after the agency released an initial report indicating damages worth P820 million on Monday.

An estimated 126,271 hectares of farms have been wasted, the same report said.

Some 180,000 metric tons of rice -- worth P3.063 billion -- have been lost, comprising almost three percent of the Philippines' expected rice production for the year. Barring any calamities, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) have previously said that the country could produce 17.45 million metric tons of rice for the year.

In the meantime, damages to corn crops reached P42.976 million, a figure five times higher than Monday's estimates of P8.38 million. Some 1,374 hectares of corn plantations were engulfed by floods, destroying 1,279 metric tons of the country's second staple.

Losses from mangoes and vegetables stayed within earlier estimates of P23.854 million.

Around 20,000 families in the provinces of Cagayan, Aurora , Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal were affected by Ondoy's effects.

The government intends to increase and accelerate production by preparing seeds which have short gestation periods and distributing them to farmers. In turn, these seeds can be harvested by December 31. - GMANews.TV
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