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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid