Cash-crop growing pushed in typhoon-affected areas

DAVAO City — An executive of an agricultural firm supported the plea of farmers in the areas affected by typhoon Pablo to plant fast yielding crops while waiting to revitalize banana and coconut industries.

Speaking during the 8th Mindanao Media Summit held over the weekend, Rufino Leano, research and development specialist of the Monsanto Philippines said the areas devastated by the typhoon in December need crops that can be harvested in a shorter period of time.

He said other devastated areas can be converted into cash crop plantations that can be harvested immediately for consumption and income to farmers.

“We encourage the planting of cash crops in Compostela Valley and the communities of Davao Oriental,” Leano said.

He said the farming technology nowadays have to contend with the changing weather condition and the increasing population.

Leano said the climate change has affected worldwide bringing drought in the Western Hemisphere and powerful storms in the Eastern Hemisphere like typhoon Pablo which hit Caraga and Davao Region.

“The significant weather anomalies in 2012 happened all over the world and are projected to happen again,” he said.

Leano said food production must be responsive to the growing population which is growing and is projected to reach nine billion by 2050.

He said given these challenges, it is the commitment of their firm to produce more food while protecting the environment.

Earlier, Judith Castres, spokesperson of the local government of Boston cited the need for a livelihood that will provide income to coconut communities displaced by typhoon Pablo in Boston, Davao Oriental.

He said a sustainable livelihood is important for affected resident to regain back their purchasing and to spur again the local economy.

Castres said many families depended much on the coconut industry for the education of their children and to support their daily needs.

He said the challenge nowadays for their government is how to provide source of income for families who relied much on the coconut farming which was wiped out by the storm.

Castres recalled that the strong gustiness and storm surge which brought tidal waves devastated the town of Boston during the onslaught of the storm which wrecked havoc to Davao Region and Caraga.

“The relief operation runs fine in our town, but we need to go beyond the dole out mentality and provide better livelihood opportunities to our constituents,” he said.

Castres said that out of the 13,000 total population in their town, 3,000 families were affected by the storm.

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