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Appeal for Donations for Drought-stricken Farmers in SOCCKSARGEN and Cagayan Valley

Appeal for Donations for Drought-stricken Farmers in SOCCKSARGEN and Cagayan Valley

Appeal for Donations for Drought-stricken Farmers in SOCCKSARGEN and Cagayan Valley

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APPEAL FOR DONATIONS

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“The affected farmers have nowhere to go. Food assistance and water supply are now very limited. We hope you can find it in yourselves to share what you can in this time of our fellow Filipinos’ great need.”

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The SOCCSKSARGEN region is among the 38% in the Philippines that experiences drought. Drought and the long dry spell have already affected 30 provinces all over the country. The region have been experiencing below normal rainfall since October 2015 due to the El Niño phenomenon, which, according to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), could extend until June 2016.

The region has also experienced drought last December 2014 to June 2015. During those months, dry spell created big losses to the harvest of the farmers. Making matters worse, pest infestations followed through. The region has not yet recovered from past drought and El Niño is striking again, heavily impacting the agricultural sector.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) identified SOCCSKSARGEN as among the most vulnerable areas in terms of the adverse impact of drought. The provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City have already declared independently their provinces under state of calamity.

In Cagayan, ten (10) towns and one city in the southern part of Cagayan suffered the effects of long dry spell. According to the PDRRMC, the total damage in agriculture is worth around Php85M that partially damaged rice and corn plantations.

Farmers in the region were already heavily in debt and deeply mired in economic misery and social deprivation when drought and the typhoons struck. Farmers are still trying to beef up their confidence in starting over due to past calamities, rock bottom prices of farm products, lack of capital, too expensive farm inputs, high interest rates and insecurity in their possessory rights. Some have already opted to sell their labor in other farms or engage in carabao logging and slash and burn just to support their families’ daily needs.
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