News / Asia

Philippines Coconut Industry Struggles to Recover after Typhoon Haiyan

Philippines Coconut Industry Struggles to Recover after Typhon Haiyani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
March 07, 2014 5:49 AM
After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, parts of the archipelago nation are still recovering. Among those hardest hit were farmers, nearly half of whom harvest coconuts. Jason Strother reports from Leyte province, where efforts to revitalize the coconut farming industry are underway.

Philippines Coconut Industry Struggles to Recover after Typhon Haiyan

Last December, Typhoon Haiyan's destructive winds devastated the Philippines. Parts of the archipelago nation are still recovering. Among those hardest hit were farmers, nearly half of whom harvest coconuts. In Leyte province, efforts to revitalize the coconut farming industry are underway.
 
Before the storm, farmers at a farm in rural Leyte harvested the dried meat, or copra, of coconuts to make oil, but Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction has made the future of this and many other small plantations unclear.
 
The farm’s caretaker, Arnulflo Barcero, 52, said the typhoon knocked out the large majority of the farm's trees.
 
“Before the typhoon we had 700 trees and now there are only 90 trees still standing. It’s a problem for the community because we rely on the copras to earn a living,” said Barcero.
 
Around 40 percent of farmers in Leyte province work in the coconut industry.  The downed trees mean they have nothing to sell and the help they employ have no work. But for others, the devastation is creating income.
 
Francisco Alverca, a chainsaw operator who has been called in to help cut up the fallen and damaged trees, is one of those benefiting.
 
 “I think it will take several months to complete all the work here, it is a big property,” said Alverca.
 
Alverca and other chainsaw operators are employed in the many sawmills around Leyte province. International aid groups hire them and train local farmers to use saws to clear the land of dead trees so new ones can be planted. Now, coconut lumber is in high demand.
 
The wood is transported from the ruined farms to the city of Tacloban to build shelters for those displaced by the typhoon.
 
Around 100 families in the town of Palo are rebuilding their own homes with the freshly cut lumber.  
 
Rice farmer Rudolfo Palamos, 74, had his entire house ripped apart by Haiyan’s strong winds.
 
“This area has a lot of coconut trees. The wood isn’t so expensive and it’s easy to build with.  Most of my house was rebuilt with the coconut tree lumber, including the walls, the corner posts,” said Palamos.
 
There are many more fallen trees back in the plantations. But there is concern that time is running out to cut them up.
 
Caroline Gluck, with OXFAM, an aid group that oversees six sawmill programs in Leyte province, said time is of the essence.
 
“In three months the likelihood is that many of these trees will rot and become infested with pests. And those pests can eat some of the still standing and productive trees,” said Gluck.
 
Once the downed trees are cleared, aid groups can start helping coconut farmers replant on their land, but it could take several more years before new trees are ready for harvest.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid