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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid