Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Extreme weather causes agricultural losses of NT$136m

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Heavy rain and strong winds have caused agricultural losses in excess of NT$136 million (US$4.54 million) in nine areas including Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County, according to data from the Council of Agriculture.

Among the areas covered by the council’s data, the losses in Pingtung County totaled NT$83.89 million, accounting for about 65 percent of total losses.

The estimated crop damage totaled NT$129.9 million, with about 4,973 hectares of rice affected, leading to losses of NT$98.35 million, as well as losses of watermelon, green soy bean, guava, peanuts and papaya.

Losses from livestock farms and forests were estimated at about NT$50,000, while NT$6.32 million of damage was done to farmland and farm facilities.

The council said it has approved subsidies to 15 townships in Pingtung for damaged rice crops on Wednesday.

The council’s Kaohsiung District Agricultural Improvement Station said that Pingtung and Greater Kaohsiung are key areas for the nation’s tropical crops, including fruits and vegetables, adding that restoration measures differ according to species.

Station director Huang Te-chang (黃德昌) said that rehabilitation work for fruit mainly involves clearing windfall and repairing water drainage on farms, as well as improving environmental hygiene by controlling plant diseases and insect pests.

Huang said farmers should not use too much nitrogen-rich fertilizers to prevent crops from retaining rainwater and should take preventative measures before heavy rain.

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