Oliver Bugarin 7 0 0 4 min to read

Japan provides P337 million to aid typhoon-affected farmers and fishermen.

To aid Filipino farmers and fishermen, particularly those in the Bangsamoro region, recover from the ravages of Typhoon Odette, which struck the Philippines in 2021, the Japanese government provided USD6 million (about PHP337 million).

Thousands of Filipinos in Mindanao as well as Central and Eastern Visayas would benefit from the humanitarian relief, which will be channeled through the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Kazuhiko Koshikawa, the Japanese ambassador to the Philippines, said on Wednesday that the WFP project would “give deeper meaning” to the region’s efforts to achieve peace and development.

To create peace, he stated, “it is essential to have stable living circumstances, food security, and nutrition for all.”

He continued, “I truly hope that through such attempts, this genuine care from the Japanese people reaches thousands of seriously affected Filipinos.

More than 7,500 smallholder farmers and fishermen in Muslim Mindanao’s Bangsamoro Autonomous Region would benefit from a two-year WFP program supported by USD4 million, or PHP225 million (BARMM).

Through improved market connections, increased agricultural productivity, and social and behavior change communication activities, the program would also assist demobilized fighters and indigenous people and strengthen their engagement in the agricultural value chain.

They would take part in building roads, setting up storage facilities and community irrigation systems, growing agroforestry, and starting nurseries.

The WFP would also launch Farm2Go, a program that would electronically link farmers with marketplaces and enable them to sell their produce at fair prices.

While using the remaining USD2 million (about PHP112.5 million) to aid 20,000 small-scale coconut growers and fishers devastated by the storm in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and the Caraga Region to rebuild their livelihoods and strengthen their resilience.

Inputs for farming and fishing will be provided by the FAO, and they will be complemented by training on climate-resilient farming techniques and the use of early warning systems and climatic information.

In a ceremony held at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Koshikawa signed and swapped notes for the projects with Brenda Barton, the WFP’s representative and country director in the Philippines, and Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff, the FAO’s representative in the country.

Wertz-Kanounnikoff stated in a statement that Japan’s “kind gesture” is a testament to both its ongoing collaboration with the FAO and with the Philippines.

Roel Rosales, the deputy administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority, Minister Muhammad Yacob of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, and Neomi Diaz, the deputy assistant secretary of foreign affairs, all attended the ceremony.

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