August 2008, Nutriplant Philippines held an agricultural workshop for Congressman Roger Mercado and his Southern Leyte farmers. See photos below.
Congressman Mercado is committed to assisting his farmers to have a larger and the best quality harvest through the use of Nutriplant Organic Agricultural products and to avoid the lack of production and supply of rice and other food supplies locally, and nationally.
Hinunangan Has No NFA Rice by Southern Leyte Times
Hinunangan Town, Southern Leyte. This once rich agricultural town known as the “rice granary of the province” now has a severe rice shortage and as of August 1, 2008 there was no NFA rice outlets there. According to Jose Alcober the SLT correspondent for the Pacific Area residents were now buying rice at P45 a kilo as compared to NFA subsidized rice which costs only 19 pesos. He said 40 percent of the lands there which were planted to rice had been practically abandoned because the children of the farmers had gone abroad to work, and their parents were now too old to manage the fields themselves. “And besides,” he added “they were now receiving monthly stipends from their children and could live comfortably without toiling in the fields.” Alcober said that the farmers who were still cultivating their fields were at the mercy of rice merchants who loaned them money in exchange for their future harvests. “The bottom line is that farmers only get to keep enough rice for themselves to last a couple of months because of the usurious rates the rice merchants were charging them. “ It’s an endless cycle!”. He said there was also the water problem since the NIA only provided irrigation for the lowest lying rice fields of the town, and they had no siphoning facility, so the water would drown the rice stalks when it rained heavily. “People here have to go to neighboring towns to buy NFA rice and spend hours lining up for their allocations, so that by the time they reach home, they were hungry enough to consume all the rice they bought.” Alcober said this was why Congressman Roger Mercado’s agricultural scholarship program was considered by residents there as top priority. “The town needs to train a new generation of farmers who will manage the rice fields there profitably so the town can regain its reputation as the rice bowl of Southern Leyte.”
Southern Leyte located between Northern Leyte and Ormoc City, and the Surigao Strait to the south. The Pacific Ocean to the east, and the Canigao Channel and the Visayas Sea to the west. Southern Leyte and the island of Limasawa, is where the countries first bloody confrontation between Ferdinand Magellan and Rajah Kolambu was held on Good Friday March 29, 1521. The location of Southern Leyte provides the province strategic valuable access to several important Visayan and Mindanao provinces. Maasin is the capital of Southern Leyte, and is a trading center and a national ocean port. The Daang Maharlika highway provides road access to Southern Leyte from Ormoc City.
Click the images below for a larger view of Southern Leyte Congressman Roger Mercado's Agriculture Farmers Workshop conducted by Nutriplant Philippines.
Click here to review our solution to the rice crisis and how everyone involved benefits.