Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala today assured President Aquino that the Department of Agriculture has prioritized the rehabilitation of the crop, livestock and fishery sector in Yolanda-stricken areas through its Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) program. 

The Secretary said that 93.68 percent, or 30,186 of the 32,224 boats damaged by Typhoon Yolanda has already been repaired.

He added, 65.27 percent of irrigation canals, or 673,306 linear meters of irrigation canals operated by both the local government units and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) have already been cleared of debris and desilted.

Corn, rice and vegetable seeds and other planting materials will be provided to ensure that affected farmers can immediately plant/catch  up with the cropping season and produce food before relief supply from government, non-government organizations and international organizations run out, he added.

This is also to ensure food security for the affected regions and the country, Alcala said.

The Philippine Coconut Authority is implementing rehabilitation work on damaged coconut plantations, which includes debris management and coconut replanting, intercropping and fertilization.

According to the Secretary, a total of 47 units of farm tractors have already been procured and procurement of additional units is ongoing.

Initially, 10 units of four-wheel drive from DA regional field offices have been deployed to affected areas to assist in the start of farm clearing operations.

As of the end of September, a total of 2,280 kilos of assorted vegetable seeds have already been distributed through the DA’s regional field offices and local government units.

"The vegetable seeds that were distributed early are already providing food and extra income," Alcala said.

For corn, a total of 24, 738 bags of seeds have already been distributed to affected farming households. 

For rice, there are already 142, 423 bags of certified and hybrid seeds that have been distributed.

Farmers who were provided rice and corn seeds were also provided with fertilizers.  A total of 162, 878 bags of various types of fertilizers have already been distributed.   

For livestock restocking and animal care, a total of 2,201 heads have already been  distributed.  (DA-OSEC)