MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 December) — The corn industry in central and northern Bukidnon and some areas of Misamis Oriental lost at least 80,000 metric tons of corn worth P1.1 billion to typhoon Pablo, according to Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (BKCCII).
Bioco, owner of the Mindanao Grains Processing Inc, said in an email to MindaNews Monday ‘Pablo’ has affected over 20,000 hectares of corn areas at their silking stage in the province and neighboring villages.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao, to which BKCCII is affiliated, has asked the national government to use “unspent budget from other Department of Agriculture programs” to help the affected farmers, he said.
“Even just for the provision of high quality seeds desirable by our farmers, under a Quick Turnaround Program,” he added.
Bioco said the PCCI-Mindanao is in the process of pushing these initiatives to help “not just our corn farmers in Bukidnon…but also (the) small banana growers of Compostela Valley.”
Compostela Valley is the province worst hit by “Pablo” in terms of economic losses, displacement and casualties.
As of December 5, the Provincial Agriculture Office estimated the partial damage to crops in Bukidnon at P304 million — P169.8 million to corn and P77.2 million to rice.
San Fernando bore the brunt of the damage to crops in Bukidnon at P166.6 million, including P100 million to corn.
The report did not include figures yet from Malaybalay City, Malitbog and other towns affected by ‘Pablo.’
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told reporters in Davao City last week that the estimated total cost of agricultural damage in Region 11 was P7.938 billion, with ComVal as the hardest hit.
Based on an initial assessment P5.6 billion of the damage was on the banana industry. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)