Farmers to DA: Brace for Typhoon OdettePH, pre-position seeds, seedlings, and fast-track aid distribution

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the Department of Agriculture together with LGUS must prepare early and work round-the-clock to prevent agricultural losses and damages in the light of typhoon Odette (international name Rai). 

KMP said the DA must pre-position seeds, seedlings and relief packs for farmers, and fast-track the distribution of aid and production subsidies. Marami na ang nagsimulang magtanim ng palay at gulay ngayong Disyembre. Kapag binagyo at nabaha ang pananim, lugi na at may utang pa ang mga magsasaka.”

“Farmers along the track of the storm are bracing themselves for the possible impact of Typhoon Odette. The government must do its part to prevent and minimize damages to farmers and the rural population. Farmers cannot take any more blows to their livelihood. The pandemic and successive typhoons and calamities since last year resulted in heavy losses and debts,” according to KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.  

Based on the latest PAGASA weather bulletin, Odette has maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph while moving west-northwest at 25 kph. The typhoon to reach a peak intensity of 155 to 165 kph before landfall. As of Thursday morning, Odette was located 330 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, moving west-northwest at a faster 25 kph. It will landfall this afternoon either in Surigao provinces or in the southern part of Eastern Visayas. 

Heavy to torrential rains is expected in Caraga, Central Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental. Parts of Leyte, Eastern Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Bicol,  Quezon will also experience inclement weather. 

The overall Q3 agricultural production fell by 0.2 percent. Crop damage caused by inclement weather contributed to the slump in production. Based on DA data, agriculture damages caused by Typhoon Maring reached P1.7 billion, damages from Typhoon Jolina reached P1.36 billion and the southwest monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Fabian also caused P698.53 million worth of farm losses. 

The country is among the countries most exposed to the physical risks of climate change, particularly storms and floods. In fact, climate-related hazards have caused P506.1-billion (around $10 billion) in losses and damages to the country from 2010 to 2020. Annual average losses of P48.9-billion from climate events represent 0.33% of each year’s average gross domestic product (GDP). In 2020, the onslaught of typhoons, including Typhoon Ulysses caused a combined P16 billion in damages to agriculture and infrastructure. ###

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