News / Asia

Philippines Prepares for First Rice Harvest Since Haiyan

A National Food Authority (NFA) worker makes an inventory of rice stocks at a government rice warehouse in Taguig, Metro Manila, March 11, 2014.
A National Food Authority (NFA) worker makes an inventory of rice stocks at a government rice warehouse in Taguig, Metro Manila, March 11, 2014.
Simone Orendain
Some farmers in the central Philippines are preparing for their first rice harvest since last November’s powerful super typhoon swept away their fields and homes, and killed more than 6,200 people.
 
Florencio de la Cruz said he had harvested six tons of rice less than two weeks before super typhoon Haiyan’s howling winds blew off his storehouse roof and brought soaking rain.  The sun helped dry some of the harvest and he was able to recover a little.  
 
Then late last year de la Cruz received rice seeds from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.  The organization helped start the planting season in this part of the country where more than two thirds of the population lives in poverty.
 
De la Cruz said, nothing would have happened without the seed program because they lost all their crops and even their house.
 
De la Cruz expects to reap the new crop on March 28.   He has been farming rice on a one-hectare patch of land for more than 50 years.  His family is among the 44,000 that the Food and Agriculture Organization says has so far been helped by the seed program.
 
Late last year officials said 63,000 hectares of rice had to be replanted after Haiyan struck.  
 
Philippine officials said the FAO contributed 52 percent of the required seeds, while the international community added another 28 percent and the rest came from the government.  They said after typhoon Bopha struck the southern Philippines in 2012, the government’s seed stock was depleted.
 
On Monday FAO Director General Graziano da Silva inspected the seed program in Basey municipality where de la Cruz lives.  He said the farmers are receiving “certified quality” seeds, which should bring greater yields than what they have now. 

But he said the first batch of seeds was rushed out in less than ideal conditions. “Remember the typhoon came exactly in the moment that was close in the time for another planting and we needed to do it in a week, two weeks and we did it. The most import is the result would be zero if we did not provide those,” he said.
 
Da Silva said under the circumstances the response from the international community and other agencies in the Philippines was one of the quickest he has seen.
 
He said the next step is to make sure the farmers get a fair price for their rice crops, and that this would spur them to plant even more.
 
Agencies are also trying to recover the 33 million coconut trees that they say the typhoon obliterated.  Philippine Agriculture Department officials said on Thursday a massive coconut clearing operation will get underway throughout the typhoon stricken region.  The goal is get the trees replanted, which will then need at least four years to mature and bear fruit.  In the meantime, they plan to help coconut farmers plant fast-growing crops like cassava and white corn.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
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.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid