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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More