Farmers help fellow farmers in Leyte town recover from typhoon Ruby

By: PR December 19,2014 - 09:52 PM

A GROUP of farmers from Cebu, Bohol and Negros came together to help fellow farmers in Dolores, Eastern Samar regenerate their agricultural land badly damaged by typhoon Ruby.

The group contributed ecologically farmed rice seeds, root crops, vegetable seeds and organic fertilizers and presented these to 125 of the most affected farmers in Dolores, Leyte yesterday.

Typhoon Ruby made a direct hit on Dolores on Dec. 6, damaging farmland and crops, before crawling across the rest of the country.

“This has been a terrific initiative and different to a government response, which can often be mistaken by farmers as a dole out which can mean they do not give much importance to it,” said Dolores Mayor Emiliana Villacarillo.

“When it’s a farmer-to-farmer exchange, the farmers that offer the seeds are people who have nothing to gain from it, but are doing it out of goodwill, out of a sense of community. It also means farmers on the receiving end can personally offer their thanks. It also changes the perspective of farmers by showing their capacity to help others in need and that our farmers have the solutions at hand. For this, we thank Greenpeace for initiating this approach. Farmers who are experiencing difficulties can now spring back and recoup their losses.”

Around four tons of rice seeds from Negros, one ton of farmer-developed rice seeds from Bohol and diverse vegetables seeds (for 1,000 families) from Cebu were delivered to Dolores. All the seeds were organically grown.

The seeds will be enough to replant about 125 hectares of rice farmland. Seeds earlier provided by the Department of Agriculture had been planted prior to the typhoon’s landfall.

As part of the seed transfer, experts and practitioners of organic farming have also travelled to Dolores to begin training farmers on how to grow healthy, climate-resilient crops using ecological agriculture practices.

Greenpeace and partner organizations responded immediately to the seed recovery mission by arranging and facilitating the skills-sharing and seed delivery, organizing the logistics and acting as a contact point between the farmers in Cebu,

Bohol and Negros and the impacted farmers and authorities in Dolores.

“As our climate changes, there is an increasingly urgent need for Filipino farmers to adopt more resilient farming practices. This seed delivery is a good step; it not only help get farmers in Dolores back on their feet, but it also reinforces the need to strengthen farmer-to-farmer seed exchanges and the setting up of community seed banks and diverse seed stocks,” said Wilhelmina Pelegrina, Ecological Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace International.

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TAGS: dolores eastern samar, farmers, Leyte, Typhoon Ruby

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