Agricultural losses from flooding soar past NT$655 million

Taipei, Agricultural losses caused by flooding in central and southern Taiwan since Aug. 23 were estimated to have reached NT$655.51 million (US$21.34 million) as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to the latest update from the Council of Agriculture (COA).

The flooding, caused by a tropical depression that brought days of heavy rain to the southern half of the country, resulted in widespread damage to crops, fisheries and livestock.

Chiayi County was hardest hit by the torrential rain, reporting NT$432.22 million in agricultural losses, which accounted for 66 percent of the total, COA data shows.

Tainan suffered the second highest losses of NT$142.66 million, or 22 percent of the total, followed by Yunlin County with losses of NT$37.58 million (6 percent), Kaohsiung NT$33.75 million (5 percent), and Pingtung County NT$6.75 million (1 percent), the data indicates.

By industry, the fisheries sector sustained the heaviest losses of NT$330.7 million. Milkfish farms were the hardest hit, recording losses of NT$135.36 million, followed by tilapia and Taiwan barramundi farms, the COA data shows.

Livestock losses were estimated at NT$194.15 million, mainly resulting from the drowning of some 1.56 million chickens in the floods, along with large numbers of pigs, ducks and geese.

The losses in other agricultural sectors were estimated at NT$124.71 million, including NT$940,000 among beekeepers, with 4,698 hectares of active farmland reported to have been damaged.

Peanuts were the worst hit crop, recording losses of NT$19.37 million as 1,139 hectares of peanut fields reportedly were flooded. Other heavily damaged crops included pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, guavas and watermelons, the statistics indicate.

The COA said the local governments in Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung will provide financial relief to farmers who have suffered losses due to the flooding.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel