Rice and veggie prices set to rise

Wrath of nature: Residents wading through chest-deep floodwaters caused by Noru in San Miguel town, Bulacan province. — AP

CONSUMERS should brace for an increase of as much as 20% in the retail prices of rice and vegetables after Super Typhoon Karding (known internationally as Noru) wreaked havoc on the country’s farm sector, says the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Domingo Panganiban, the Agriculture Senior Undersecretary, said they were expecting a spike of 15% to 20% in prices of food items because the rice-producing region of Central Luzon suffered the brunt of the typhoon.

Karding has wiped out billions of peso worth of agricultural produce, with the rice sector accounting for nearly 82% of the recorded damage in the farm sector, based on the DA’s tally as of Thursday.

“Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan and Quezon are among the affected provinces, with more than 20% of the total area planted destroyed,” Panganiban said during the Laging Handa public briefing yesterday.

The DA’s monitoring showed that the typhoon also ravaged farming, livestock and fishing areas in the Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Bicol and Western Visayas regions.

Damage to the agriculture sector in the Bicol region involved livestock, fisheries, rice, corn and high- value vegetables in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

The typhoon affected 2,853 farmers and fisherfolk and destroyed 3,828.19ha of farmland. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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