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Agricultural losses from recent rains top US$32 million

2012/06/25 19:54:14

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) The agricultural damage caused by the recent torrential rains had reached NT$976.63 million (US$32.56 million) as of Monday morning, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said its latest update.

Among the eight categories of agricultural losses named by the council, crop losses were the highest, estimated at NT$773.41 million.

The COA said 25,353 hectares of farmland were damaged, 13,832 of which were first crop rice paddies. The resulting losses to rice farmers totaled NT$218.05 million, the council said.

Fruit farms, particularly those that grow persimmons, papayas, watermelons and bananas, suffered the second highest losses, the council said. The damage to inundated farmlands throughout the country totaled NT$96.35 million, and to agricultural facilities NT$3.57 million, the council said.

In livestock farming, Taoyuan County reported the loss of 800 hogs and around 70,000 chickens, with the industry nationwide recording total losses of NT$12.35 million, according to the COA report.

Damage to aquaculture farms around the country amounted to NT$83.86 million, while in the forestry industry, the total losses were estimated at NT$4.35 million.

Meanwhile, because of the heavy rains and damage in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, the export price of papaya has gone up by NT$20 per kilogram, the county's agricultural department said.

However, the market will stabilize in about a month's time when the next harvest season starts, the department said.

The COA is providing disaster assistance to fruit farmers who grow watermelons, muskmelons and cantaloupe. A subsidy program and a loan plan have also been launched to help farmers in the counties of Taoyuan, Taitung, Nantou and Yunlin and in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan.

(By Yang Su-min, Kao chu-chen and Maia Huang)