THE ashfall spewed by Taal volcano has already affected at least 15,790 hectares of farmlands and caused the death of 55,881 head of various farm animals with total damages and losses amounting to P3.17 billion.
In Bulletin No. 6 on Taal Volcano eruption issued by the Department Agriculture, the large increase in animal deaths was due to the additional reports from validated areas in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna.
DA Secretary William Dar, meanwhile, assured that they will continuously provide support for the farmers and fisherfolk affected by the eruption.
Among the interventions that the DA and its attached bureaus and agencies have undertaken include the granting of P130-million worth of intervention in the form of farm equipment, seeds, planting materials, fingerlings, storage drums and power sprayers in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas and the launching of DA Taal Livestock Care Emergency Operations Center in STIARC, Lipa City, that will serve as temporary shelter for rescued livestock animals.
Dar said animal feeds, biologics, vitamins and other veterinary supplies are enough to sustain the operations of the center.
Other actions that were undertaken were the delivery made by the Vegetable Farmers’ and Traders’ Associations in La Trinidad, Benguet, through DA-CAR, of six tons of assorted vegetables in Batangas evacuation centers. DA-CAR will also donate 120 cavans of rice and the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) through DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) has given 14,800 kilos of assorted vegetables.
Dar disclosed that once aquaculture operation resumes and suitable areas are identified, the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources(BFAR) is ready to provide assorted fingerlings: seven million for tilapia; 20,000 - ulang (freshwater shrimps); 50,000 - hito; 100,000 - bighead carp; and 5,000 - ayungin.