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

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid