Crop damage from Aghon at P11 million so far, DA says

AGRICULTURAL damage caused by Typhoon Aghon (international name: Ewiniar) was initially estimated at P11.83 million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“In the coming days, we can expect that to increase… Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas have not yet reported,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary and Spokesman Arnel V. de Mesa told reporters on Tuesday.

The typhoon made initial landfall over Quezon province, according to the government weather service, known as PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration).

PAGASA said that Aghon, currently on a track to the northeast in the Philippine Sea, is set to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

The DA reported crop losses by volume at 487 metric tons (MT), affecting 432 farmers across 239 hectares of farmland.

The DA had estimated that 199,268 hectares would be affected by the typhoon, based on the standing crop as of May 15.

The DA said that rice accounted for 90% of the crop damage, valued at P10.66 million. Some 430 MT of rice was lost to the typhoon across 232 hectares.

He said that about 99% of the dry-season rice crop had been harvested at the time of the typhoon, with most of the affected crop being early plantings for the wet season.  

“Most of what is planted now is in preparation for the wet season. It is in the early stages of crop development,” he said.

High-value crop (HVC) damage amounted to P1.15 million, with lost volume at 57 MT. Only Marinduque had reported HVC damage as of May 28. — Adrian H. Halili