Farmers are dealt a harsh blow as a bulletin from the Department of Agriculture - Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (DRRM) Operations Center revealed that the Taal Volcano eruption has hit Batangas coffee producers the hardest.
"DA RFO IV-A has reported initial damages and losses for coffee, corn and livestock at P74.55 million affecting 752 hectares and 102 animal head," the agency says in a Facebook post. "Coffee is the most affected commodity at P73.96 million (99%)."
Aside from this, the report highlights the risk of a fish kill due to the high sulfur content of the water surrounding the erupting volcano, which can result in "a production loss estimated at 15,033 metric tons." This includes populations of Sardinella tawilis and tilapia.
The Department of Agriculture has already prepared loan assistance for farmers and fisherfolk. "We can provide emergency loan of P25,000, zero interest, payable in three years, uner the Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program," says Agriculture Secretary William Dar in a PNA report. There is also the "option to borrow a higher amount under the recently-launched Micro and Small Agribusiness Loan Program."
According to a January 14, 2020 PHIVOLCS bulletin, "Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days."
If you wish to help those affected by Taal's eruption, click here for a list of institutions that need volunteers and accept donations.
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