Typhoon hit at start of rice-planting

ROME (AP) — The deadly typhoon that ravaged much of the Philippines struck at the start of the main rice-planting season, dealing further sorrow to the Asian nation.

In Rome, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates than more than 1 million rice farmers have been affected by destruction of rice fields. U.N. agricultural experts also said Tuesday that a severe impact on coconut production is expected. Fishing communities also suffered loss of gear and boats.

The U.N. agency says it has deployed emergency response staff and is using $1 million (750,000) from its own resources to cover such immediate farm needs as seeds and fertilizers. It says some $24 million (18 million euros) will be required for other needs, including rehabilitating irrigation facilities.

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