Natural disasters’ damage to agriculture during the last decade reached Php 106.

88 billion The sheer amount of typhoons, floods and droughts destroyed a total of Php 106.88 billion worth of agricultural products in the years 2000 to 2010, according to a research made by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The study authored by Danilo Israel and Roehlano Briones revealed the national agricultural area affected by typhoons, floods and droughts increased to 977, 208 hectares in 2010, from 683,440 hectares in the year 2000. The crops that were most damaged: rice, corn, vegetables, coconut, abaca, sugarcane, tobacco, fisheries products and livestock. It was noted in the study that total damage to agriculture decreased during the 2000-2002 period, increased in 2004, fell in 2005, rose in 2006, declined in 2007, increased in the years 2008 and 2009, then decreased again in 2010. The total damage to agriculture due to typhoons, floods and droughts were lowest in 2002 and highest in 2009. Aside from agricultural commodities, the study also revealed that natural disasters also destroyed agricultural facilities and irrigation. The damages that were incurred from 2000 to 2010 for agricultural facilities was valued at Php 4.99 billion while those for irrigation were estimated at Php 9.73 billion. The highest level of damage for agricultural facilities was recorded in 2008 while that for irrigation was recorded in 2009. Based on the findings of the study, the authors recommended that assistance for rice farmers and the agriculture sector should be made more site-specific and should zero in on affected areas that actually need it. The research suggests that due to the damages incurred, it may now be high time to provide concrete assistance to the agriculture sector, particularly the provisions for defensive instruments and rehabilitation of expenditures to cope with natural disasters. Strategies that will strengthen the capability of national and local government institutions to adapt to climate change and to improve their disaster-risk reduction skills are apt to mitigate future losses.

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