The areas worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan grow a third of the Philippines' rice, a statement of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.

Hundreds of thousands of farmers in the Philippines whose crops were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan need urgent assistance to sow new seeds before the end of the current planting season, it said.

The Rome-based food agency was also concerned that many storage facilities may have been destroyed, along with their contents.

It call for a 24 million USD aid for 250,000 households living on agriculture and aquaculture in the Philippines.

Dominique Burgeon, head of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, said in the statement issued on November 19: "If we want to avoid entire regions of the country having to rely on food aid, we need to act now to help vulnerable families to plant or replant by late December."

Meanwhile, scientists at the Manila-based International Rice Research Institute are working on new types of seed that can resist climate changes, including flood and drought.

Some 13 million people were affected by Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, which struck the Philippine archipelago on November 8, claiming at least 4,000 lives.

An estimated 2.5 million are in need of food aid.-VNA