2 Jul 2004

Typhoon wipes out vegetable crops on Saipan

12:46 pm on 2 July 2004

Typhoon Tingting has wiped out all vegetable crops on Saipan island in the Northern Marianas.

The Saipan Tribune newspaper says farmers reckon they've lost about one million US dollars as a result of heavy rains and strong winds.

The Commonwealth Development Authority told the newspaper it would consider suspending loan payments in the agricultural sector, to accommodate the farmers, faced with disaster.

An agricultural consultant, Isodoro Cabrera, says the crops that have been destroyed, include tomato, eggplant, bitter gourd, cabbage, green onion and okra.

Mr Cabrera says the typhoon damaged up to 60 percent of Saipan's root crops and about 90 per cent of the island's bananas.