Food packs distributed in areas hit by drought
DIGOS CITY—Food packs are being distributed to some 52,000 farming families in Davao del Sur province and the newly created province of Davao Occidental as the dry spell has started to affect food supply in the communities.
The food distribution was conducted by the provincial social welfare office and the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista said on Monday. His province still has administrative jurisdiction over Davao Occidental pending the election of new officers in 2016.
Lack of adequate rain since January has ruined nearly 10,000 hectares of cropland in Davao del Sur alone, Bautista said.
“The food distribution was just the first step in reaching out to the affected farmers,” said Marivic Hubac, executive assistant to the governor.
The food packs were given to families in the towns of Magsaysay, Bansalan, Matanao, Hagonoy, Sulop, Sta. Cruz and Malalag in Davao del Sur and in the towns of Sta. Maria, Malita, Don Marcelino and Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.
Bautista said seeds and other farm inputs for the next planting season would also be distributed.
The provincial government and the National Irrigation Administration were working together to rehabilitate or open new irrigation systems.
In Maguindanao province, Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said the declaration of a state of calamity last month had paved the way for distribution of food packs to farmers in 36 towns. The provincial government was also preparing for the distribution of seeds and other farm inputs, he said.
In North Cotabato province, provincial agriculturist Eliseo Mangliwan said seed and fertilizer distribution would be continued.
Mangliwan said the funds used for the purchase of organic and chemical fertilizers were taken from the P4-million cash incentive the province got for winning the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Award of the Department of Agriculture last year. Eldie Aguirre and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
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