CABANATUAN CITY – Initial estimate of the damages to rice and vegetable crops due to the heavy rains and subsequent flooding in Nueva Ecija reached P84.41 million, according to Gov. Czarina Umali.
“Habagat” spawned by Typhoon Josie brought the destruction.
Most of the affected rice crop, particularly, were either in their seedling or vegetable stages, she said.
The gravely affected areas were those in municipalities considered as “low-lying or catch basin” areas in the province, she added.
She said the estimated damages may rise further as compilation and validation of reports from the field are ongoing.
Umali said about 15,000 hectares were the affected areas for rice, 105 ha for corn crop, and 61 ha for vegetables.
At the average harvest of 90 cavans per hectare during the wet season cropping, the estimated yield loss in rice was 1,350,000 cavans of 50 kilogram each (67,500 mt.).
Umali said the provincial government, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 3, will distribute free seeds to the affected farmers.
At the moment, she said, the buffer stock for this is about 10,000 bags of certified seeds of 40 kilograms valued at P1,200 each bag.
The farmers usually use one bag of seeds for planting in a hectare farm.
Umali also said that free pesticides, insecticides, and use of tractors from the provincial equipment pool are the additional assistance that her office will provide to the affected farmers.
“We will extend all resources of the provincial government to help the affected farmers to get back on their feet,” she said.