by INQUIRER.net, 14 Jan 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Some P577.39 million worth of crops and livestock have already been ravaged by the phreatic eruption or steam-driven episode of Taal Volcano, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday.
In its Taal Volcano Eruption Bulletin No. 3, DA said Taal blast’s damage to agriculture has increased from the previous P74.55 million as it now affected 2,772 hectares of land as well as 1,967 animals in Calabarzon.
Specifically, DA said the affected crops include rice, corn, coffee, cacao, banana, and assorted vegetables.
DA said its Calabarzon office will distribute P21.7 million worth of assistance to 16 local government units such Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Talisay, Lemery, Laurel, Lipa City, San Jose, Nasugbu, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Padre Garcia, Tanauan City, Malvar and Taal – all affected by the volcanic eruption.
This assistance will “include the provision of livestock for restocking and rice and corn seeds, high-value crops planting materials and other production inputs,” DA noted.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Animal Industry will distribute available drugs and biologics for affected livestock while the Bureau of Plant Industry will give a total of 5,000 coffee mother plants as well as 1,000 cacao seedlings to “damaged cacao and coffee areas.”
DA, on the other hand, said the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) will conduct “soil sampling, analysis, and mapping of the extent of fresh volcanic ash deposits affecting agricultural areas.”
BSWM noted that volcanic eruption “contributes to the ‘birth of soil’ as it renews and replenishes the nutrients; improving soil fertility on the medium to long term.”
BSWM will likewise survey and map water sources, DA said. Consuelo Marquez, INQUIRER.net