The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) said vegetable producers in the province are starting to recover from typhoon Odette, but added that it will take a while more for high-value crops such as cashew to catch up.
Provincial agriculturist Dr. Romeo Cabungcal said OPA immediately distributed seedlings of vegetables for local farmers to assist their production and recovery after the typhoon in December 2021. OPA also assists in linking farmers to markets for buyers of their vegetables.
The local agriculture sector of Palawan recorded about P2 billion in damage after Odette in December 2021, affecting rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, and livestock.
“Immediate natin na i-provide ay kasi vegetable seeds which nakikita natin ngayon na medyo napakarami ng vegetable. Not only in Puerto Princesa, but doon sa mga munisipyo kaya nga tinutulungan din natin sila sa marketing,” he said.
Although vegetable production is starting to increase, other sectors of Palawan’s agriculture industry, such as high-value crops, will take longer to recover.
One of the top high-value crops of the province, cashew, was greatly damaged by the typhoon. Palawan contributes approximately 90 percent of the country’s cashew production.
OPA also coordinated with the agriculture department to provide seedlings for high-value crops like cashew in Palawan. The plantation will start in the rainy season, according to Cabungcal.
Roxas town, which is known as the cashew capital of Palawan, had the most damage in the province, with 320,472 trees and 2,054.31 hectares of land destroyed.
According to the Department of Agriculture-Palawan Research and Extension Station (DA-PRES), it will take the cashew industry five years to fully recover from the damage that Typhoon Odette caused.
“For example, sa high-value crops, yong mga itinanim ngayon na cashew seedlings, mapapakinabangan natin yan eight years bago uli siya mamunga, five to eight years. Medyo kailangan tingnan pa rin ‘yon. The other one na ginagawa namin, for those trees na pwede i-rehab, nandito sa rehabilitation processes,” Cabungcal said.