BORONGAN CITY, September 12, 2018–The Department of Agriculture turned over P6.68 Million in livelihood assistance for Abaca farmers in Eastern Samar, under the Special Areas for Development Program (SAAD).
DA Regional Technical Director Dr. Andrew Orais personally handed the check to Mayor Roland Boie Evardone of Arteche, Mayor Viviane Alvarez of Oras and Mayor Flora Ty Of Gen McArthur, in a ceremonial turn over last week at the Provincial Capitol. Mayor Carpeso of Dolores was unable to attend.
The funds will hopefully benefit more than 500 farmers in the four municipalities.
The Phil. Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) will implement the program by providing planting materials, fertilizers and conducting training to farmers.
A farmer beneficiary will be given 400 abaca suckers and two sacks of complete fertilizer after completing the training and field preparation.
Abaca has been identified as one of the province’s priority agricultural product, and many farmers depend on abaca for their livelihood. It has a high earning potential because of the high demand for fiber, in the domestic market and abroad.
Abaca production went down in the past years because of the abaca bunchy top virus and other pests, and adding to this was the effect of strong typhoons that hit the province that decimated almost half of the abaca plants.
For 2019, the department will release an additional P8.32 Million to help around 500 abaca farmers in the towns of Jipapad, San Policarpo, Taft, Can avid and Maslog. This will complete the P15 Million allocated for the program.
According to the agriculture officials, the program will fasttrack the rehabilitation of the abaca industry in the province that would mean additional income for farmers.
Dr. Orais said that Eastern Samar is the only SAAD area in the whole country that will implement the program in the next two years. (Eden Cidro/Este News)