BORONGAN CITY, March 23, 2017–Almost four years after super typhoon Yolanda, it was announced that the province can now avail of the “Yolanda Fund” for agriculture.
Provincial Agriculturist, Dr. Deogracias Paano said the fund amounting to Php 20 Million is expected to be transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the provincial government by the second quarter this year.
According to Paano, Php 6 Million from this fund will be used for the establishment of a “Tissue Culture Laboratory” for Abaca; Php 2 Million to put up an “Automated Weather Station”, where farmers and fishermen can get weather updates, and the rest will be used to procure pre and post harvest facilities for rice, corn and high value crops.
A good portion of the money will also be used for capacity enhancement training for farmers. The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) is pushing for a revitalized Abaca industry in Eastern Samar, since we have the potential for it, Paano added.
Region 8 is one of the biggest producer/supplier of abaca in the country.
Meantime, mechanized farm equipment from PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan are almost ready for distribution, according to the provincial agriculture office.
Provincial agriculture sources say these farm implements will be distributed to recipients in seven towns, which are “conflict affected areas”- Jipapad, Maslog, San Policarpo, Arteche, Oras, Dolores and Can avid.
The release of the equipment will be a big help especially to rice farmers.
Results from the Provincial Rice Area Validation done in 2016 show that of the more than 23,000 hectares of rice land in Eastern Samar, only 2,000 hectares are irrigated, the rest are rain fed.
It was learned from the same sources that members of registered farmers associations in the seven towns are the beneficiaries of this program.
PAMANA disclosed that it has allocated Php 10 Million pesos to buy the farm implements. (Eden Cidro/Este News)