The Cebu Provincial Government kicked off its agricultural rehabilitation efforts in Bantayan Island, distributing thousands of seeds to 400 farmers in a ceremony last Thursday at Barangay Kabac, municipality of Bantayan.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III said a task force has been created to speed up the recovery of the agriculture sector in the island as well as in all areas damaged by Typhoon Yolanda. This as Bantayanisland’stourism and poultry industries also suffered enormous losses to super typhoon Yolanda that hit the northern Cebu three weeks ago.
The governor’s uncle, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Capitol Agriculture Consultant Dr. Romulo Davide presented the seeds to the farmers which were mostly donated by various organizations.
These were 1,300 packs of assorted high-yielding vegetable seeds donated by Eastwest Seed Company; 103 bundles of camote or sweet potato cuttings, and 1 kilogram of mung beans from the University of the Philippines Los Banos.
It also includes 5,000 Camote cuttings from Dr. Davide’s brainchild group, Farmer Scientist Training Program in Argao, Cebu.
The province also supplied 200 super cardaba suckers and 243 open pollinated corn seeds while Madrijedos businessman Wellington Chan Lim donated 1,000 bags of organic fertilizer.
Also present during the ceremonial distribution and planting of seeds were Federation of Association of Barangay Captains-Cebu Province President and Provincial Board Member Jose Ribomapil Holganza Jr., Mayors Jose Esgana (Sta. Fe) and Salvador dela Fuente (Madridejos), and Vice Mayor Chad Kenneth Cañares (Bantayan).
In his second land visit in Bantayan, Davide also visited the water purifier system of Federal Agency for Technical Relief and privately funded Spanish humanitarian team in Sta. Fe. He also visited the municipal halls of Bantayan, Madridejos and Sta. Fe.
“Pasalamat kami nga wa kami pasagdi sa gobernador, siya nagtan-aw sa among kahimtang karon nga lukapa gyud ang among pagpanguma,” said Celso Illstrisimo, president of Barangay Marikaban, Sta. Fe Farmers Association.
With the seeds, he said farmers like him saw some hope to recover immediately from their losses.
Based on the damage assessment of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the damage on crops is initially pegged at P849,351,406.40 based on their farm gate prices. The total number of affected number of farmers in northern Cebu reached 19,898.
Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said a monetary award (P50,000.00) will be given to an outstanding individual farmer who can plant at least one hectare of crops.
The barangay will also be given P100,000.00 if at least 20 hectares of its farm is fully rehabilitated and P200,000.00 for the municipality with at least 100 hectares of farm lands rehabilitated.
Saragena added they expect the rehabilitation program to be completed in two months time. Xerxes Alkuino