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Mindanao farmers to get P250M

11:00 PM April 12, 2015
FARMERS in M’lang town in North Cotabato should be starting to plant rice now. But with the irrigation running dry and the rice fields cracked because of the dry spell, they are now praying for the rain to come. Karlos Manlupig/Inquirer Mindanao

FARMERS in M’lang town in North Cotabato should be starting to plant rice now. But with the irrigation running dry and the rice fields cracked because of the dry spell, they are now praying for the rain to come. Karlos Manlupig/Inquirer Mindanao

COTABATO CITY—Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on Saturday announced the initial release of some P250 million worth of projects to thousands of farmers in Central Mindanao and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) affected by drought and the insurgency war.

He also asked media organizations to help monitor projects and validate the extent of damage wrought by natural and man-made calamities especially in Maguindanao, North Cotabato and other provinces of Central Mindanao.

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“I heard that some of the badly affected areas have been placed under a state of calamity due to the dry spell and the fighting that forced poor families to abandon their farms,” Alcala said at the end of his two-day meetings with North Cotabato and Maguindanao farmers.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, whose agriculture department will get P150 million of the fund, said as of Friday, 14,464 family-evacuees in Maguindanao were being attended to by the regional Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team, “and most of them are into farming.”

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“Our problem in Maguindanao is more complicated because of the displacement, aggravated by the intense heat brought about by El Niño,” ARMM Agriculture Secretary Makmod Mending Jr. said.

Mending said about P70 million worth of crops had been wasted by the drought in Maguindanao alone.

In South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces, some 6,000 hectares of cornfields have been devastated because of the dry spell. This translates to about P66 million in loses to farmers, said Amalia Datukan, agriculture director for Central Mindanao. Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, News, onomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Regions
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