MANILA, Philippines – Coconut farmers affected by typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013 will receive assistance amounting to CAD$6 million (P246,691,860) from the Canadian government and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The government of Canada and the FAO will work with the Philippine government in assisting small-scale coconut farmers to begin the process of intercropping, crop-diversification and livelihood/poultry raising activities while waiting for the newly planted coconut trees to become productive.
The rehabilitation activities aim to support more than 11,000 coconut farming households.
“After having consulted local communities, in close collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Philippine Coconut Authority, Bureau of Animal Industries and other relevant Government institutions, we will be providing small-scale coconut farmers with vegetable seeds and also seeds for tubers such as cassava and sweet potatoes, which take only about three months to grow,” said Rajendra Aryal, acting FAO representative in the Philippines.
“Further, the farming communities will be provided with poultry and small livestock ruminants and post-harvest equipment,” Aryal added.
In Region 8 alone, an estimated 33 million coconut trees were either damaged or destroyed, affecting the livelihoods of more than one million coconut farmers.
Yolanda made landfall in November 2013 between two planting seasons, which also resulted to the destruction of ready-to-harvest, harvested and newly planted rice crops.
FAO has provided 75 percent of the government-requested rice seeds to support the affected rice farmers.