A preliminary estimate of the losses to Filipino agriculture from last week’s Typhoon Lando has been put at PHP5.9 billion (US$127 million). According to the Department of Agriculture, around 277,060 hectares of rich farmland in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera were affected.

Of the 386,000 metric tons in lost crop production, 90 percent is rice, worth PHP5.3 billion (US$114 million). Other losses are 5,600 metric tons of corn and 21,800 metric tons in other high-value crops including vegetables. Department Undersecretary Emerson Palad announced that a directive has been sent out to release seed rice and corn so damaged farms can be replanted without delay.

The livestock sector is thought to have incurred losses of PHP517,000 (US$11,100) from the typhoon.

The storm resulted to considerable damage in agriculture, but the agriculture department stated that it negated the potentially more devastating effects of El Niño on agricultural production. According to a report in Inquirer, seven provinces in Luzon continue to suffer drought conditions despite the heavy rain brought by Lando.

In the past few days, the agriculture department has announced support for the country’s livestock and poultry industries in Davao region to boost their competitiveness after agreement of economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reports Sun Star.

Regional Director Remelyn Recoter, urged the nation’s food businesses to ensure they achieve accreditation under national standards, including Good Agricultural Animal Husbandry Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Among the beneficiaries of the government support is a duck processing plant at Tamugan in Marilog District, which aims to export its products to Singapore and China, and Subzero Ice and Cold Storage Meat Processing Plant at Binugao in Toril, which hopes to send Yakitori produce to Japan.