Taal Volcano ashfall ruins Batangas’ famous kapeng barako

Philippines – Millions of pesos worth of Batangas’ famous coffee was ruined by the ashfall from the ongoing eruption of the Taal Volcano, initial data from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Calabarzon showed.

Total agricultural losses in the towns of Cuenca, Lemery, and Taal in Batangas have totaled at least ₱74.55 million, affecting 752 hectares and over 100 animals.

Of the figure, 99% or ₱73.96 million was coffee, while the rest were corn and livestock.

Coffee is one of the main agricultural produce of Batangas.

AGRICULTURE. Ashfall ruins millions of pesos worth of coffee. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Fisherfolk were also among the hardest hit. Around 6,000 fish cages are at risk of being damaged. Over 15,000 metric tons of fish are expected to die in the Taal Lake due to high sulfur content, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the DA is prepared to loan ₱25,000 to affected farmers at zero interest, payable in 3 years.

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This article first appeared on Rappler.

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