Bohol farmers to benefit from P20-M grant

BOHOL, Philippines (PIA) - Some 2,000 poor farmers in Bohol will have the opportunity to increase their harvest and increase their incomes with the provision of a P20-million grant to the so-called Bohol Food Sufficiency (BFS) Project.

Said project is a result of an accord by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) along with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Karl Kubel Stifung fur Kind un Familie (KKS) aimed at reducing poverty in the province.

In partnership with the Bohol provincial government, the project's main objective will be to uplift the lives of some 2,011 rice farming households while ensuring food sufficiency in Bohol.

The project will be implemented in support of the province's Bohol HEAT (Help-Education -Agriculture-Tourism) Program, particularly in the municipalities of Carmen, Dagohoy and San Miguel.

With the grant, poor farmers will be benefited from the construction of 12 small water impounding systems, the installation of 12 post-harvest facilities and implementation of appropriate farming technologies meant to improve the farmers' annual yields.

Said water impounding systems will allow farmers to plant rice in advance and plant more crops throughout the year, increasing their annual rice yields without depending on the planting season.

In a statement, the PBSP said the project will also introduce to farmers the importance of organic farming using vermin-compost and other appropriate farming technologies for increased farm income.

The PBSP is the largest corporate-led social development foundation in the country and the first of its kind in Asia which promotes and practices corporate social responsibility under a broad vision of effective poverty reduction in the country. Under the PBSP are some 260 companies funding various programs focused on education, health, sustainable environmentally-conscious livelihood, and micro-small-medium enterprise development implemented with communities as empowered players in development work.

Food security is a major issue in Bohol due to insufficient volume of agricultural produce in supporting the growing demand of the province, per recent data from the National Statistics Office which indicates that the population here has grown to 1.3 million in 2010 while local farmers can only provide as much as 82 percent of the province's needs.

With poverty reduction as an essential thrust, the PBSP has initiated projects to help Bohol's rice sufficiency through its Area Resource Management Program (ARMP), which, so far, has benefited over 10,000 poor families in Bohol since its launch in 1992.

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