Central Mindanao farmers plant in time for the upcoming season

Jul 2015

Agriculture-dependent families in the central Mindanao region of the Philippines are still reeling from the residual impacts of conflictdrought and flooding that affected them during the first half of 2015. 

In the Province of Maguindanao alone, more than 125,000 people were uprooted when hostilities broke out between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Government in February. Re-establishing a sense of normalcy has been a challenge for the majority of the population, who rely on farming as their primary source of livelihood. Farmers had no choice but to abandon their ready-to-harvest crops as they fled to safer grounds. Upon returning to their homes, they had not only lost their productive farm assets such as tools, small machinery and animals, but were also confronted by a mild El Niño phenomenon, followed by flooding caused by torrential rains and overflowing rivers and tributaries. These natural and human-induced disasters resulted in crop and vegetable production losses estimated at over 24,000 tonnes. 

In order to meet the first cropping season of the year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched emergency response efforts that will enable 5,000 farming households or 25,000 individuals in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces to seize the small window of opportunity to replant their farms, and avoid at least eight more months without sufficient food and income.

Author: FAO Philippines