DAGUPAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) bared that the whole Region 1 has initially sustained crop damages in the amount of P280 million but this could go as high as P500 million once all reports of damages from their fields come in.
DA Regional Director Valentino Perdido said these crops include not only palay but also high-value crops like vegetables and mangoes, thousands of which were uprooted and their branches cut due to powerful winds unleashed by Typhoon “Lando.”
He told newsmen that from the initial reports received by his office, the province of Pangasinan sustained the biggest crop damages with Ilocos Norte coming in second, followed by La Union and Ilocos Sur.
Saying that reports of crop damages are coming in very slowly because many areas are still without electricity, Perdido said that initial reports from Pangasinan showed it sustained partial damages in rice pegged at P185 million although this could increase some more.
This is a big set back for Pangasinan which is famous throughout the region not only in rice but also for its “pinakbet” vegetables like eggplants, tomaoes, okra, ampalaya, squash, pepper as well as sweet potatoes.
“I think this will still increase some more as some areas in Pangasinan and in other parts of the region are still under water and we don’t know if those crops under water will survive,” he said in Filipino during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) forum here on Thursday.
Among the areas in Pangasinan that sustained the biggest damages on rice is the rice-producing fifth and second districts which were flooded due to prolonged heavy rains that caused rivers to overflow their banks.
Most of the rice crops (55 percent) that were affected were blown down by the winds and many of them would have survived had the rice fields not been flooded due to heavy rains.
After four days of being soaked in the water, these rice crops will be considered as total loss as they will rot and have no more economic value.
At least 45 percent or 133,000 hectares of the 299,000 hectares programmed areas in Pangasinan have palay in their flowering stage and may have no chance to survive.
Perdido said the DA has a buffer seed stock of certified and hybrid rice to be given to farmers in the region for them to rehabilitate their damaged farm but these are reserved primarily for farmers who sustained total damages.
He said that any field planted after the typhoon is due for harvest by the first quarter of next year.