Coffee farms worst hit by volcano blast

January 14, 2020

AT least P74.55 million worth of coffee, corn and livestock have been damaged by the eruption of Taal volcano in Batangas.

The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) IV-A, recorded that coffee is the most affected commodity at P73.96 million or 99 per cent of the total damage.

The DA regional office further reported that there were 752 hectares of farmland and 102 head of animal were also damaged by the volcanic ashfall.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported that around 6,000 fish cages are at risk of being damaged, including Sardinella tawilis and tilapia, with production loss estimated at 15,033 metric tons since fishkill is expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content brought by the volcanic eruption.

Heavy ashfall from the on-going eruptions of Taal has reportedly fallen southwest of the volcano island in Cuenca, Lemery, and Taal, Batangas.

Undersecretary Renato Solidum of DOST-PHIVOLCS said that it is too early to tell if the volcanic eruption has subsided.
    
The National Food Authority (NFA), on the other hand, said it has enough rice stocks in areas affected by the Taal Volcano Eruption, which shall serve the requirement of the local government units LGUs, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relief agencies for distributing rice to ashfall victims, with a total of 4,090,000 bags in the affected regions.

NFA Administrator Judy Dansal guaranteed that the rice stocks are safe for human consumption as they are stored in properly maintained warehouses away from ashfall.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar instructed DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), Regional Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Divisions (AMADs) and BFAR to intensify price monitoring, as well as to source needed food supply for Metro Manila markets.