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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FAO drums urgent support for farmers hit by Typhoon Haiyan


The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called for assistance for the region’s most severely affected by the typhoon account for one-third of the total rice production in the country of Philippines.

NaijaAgroNet reports that FAO lamented the fact that hundreds of thousands of farmers in the Philippines whose crops were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan need urgent assistance to sow new seeds before the end of the current planting season.

FAO also warned that the typhoon caused damage in the central part of the country to the 2013 main season rice crop, harvesting of which was well advanced.

“It also badly disrupted planting of the current 2013-2014 secondary season, which ends in late December,” FAO declared in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet by Fiona Winward, stressing concern that many storage facilities may have been destroyed, along with their contents.

For instance, FAO informed NaijaAgroNet that damage to the main season paddy crop both by Typhoon Haiyan and by Typhoon Nari, which hit northern parts of the country in October, as well as disruption to the planting of the second season is expected to result in lower rice production than anticipated for 2013.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that FAO has downgraded its forecast for the 2013 rice production in the country to 18 million tonnes from the expectation of a bumper crop of 18.9 million tonnes at the beginning of the season, FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

The rice production shortfall of 900,000 tonnes will be felt disproportionally in the five most affected regions.  

While rice production at the national level is likely to remain close to last year’s level, the damage at the regional level is more severe. FAO warned that farmers in areas hit by the typhoon could face severe food security and livelihood problems if they do not succeed in planting the next crop in the weeks ahead.  

The five regions most severely affected by the typhoon in terms of cereal crop losses accounted for one-third of the total rice production in 2012.

Isaac Oyima/GEE
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