The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office-Cordillera Administrative (DA-RFO-CAR) region will be distributing an approximately 11.2M worth of assorted vegetable seeds and planting materials throughout the region.

This is part of DA’s rehabilitation program to those affected by typhoon Ompong last year and is set for distribution starting this February 2019.

About 18,446 individual vegetable farmers whose crops were totally damaged by the typhoon will be receiving the seeds. Distribution is based on the submitted damaged report from the Local Government Units validated by the DA-RFO-CAR.

Seeds to be distributed are composed of lowland and upland vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, Chinese cabbage, bell pepper, pechay, broccoli, cauliflower, garden pea, lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, pole sitao okra, snap beans, cucumber, tomato, ampalaya, squash, patola upo and hot pepper.

Part of this is another imported high quality Granola G-1(generation 1) potato seeds from Holland that is expected to arrive on the last week of February 2019.  G1 seeds are seed products of G-0 that was produced strictly under isolation involving tissue culture to make sure that there is no genetically and physical contamination.

This potato seed importation is apart from the imported G-3 Granola potato seeds project under the partnership of Universal Robina Corporation and DA which will be given to Benguet and Mountain Province identified potato farmers on March, 2019.

According to Lito Mocati, Senior Agriculturist of the Field Operations Division of DA-RFO-CAR, planting materials of potato being distributed to the farmers are often imported because of the absence of certified potato seeds locally by accredited seed growers. This is to make sure that the potato seeds are of good quality, pure and not infected especially with bacterial wilt which is a very common disease in potato growing areas in the region.

Based on the submitted damaged report, there are about 4,019 hectares of totally damaged vegetable crops in the region. About 60% of this or at least 2,419 hectares can be covered by the total number of seeds and planting materials to be distributed prioritizing the totally damaged areas.

Mocati clarified that this assistance may not be enough for the full rehabilitation of the vegetable growing areas but still the DA-RFO-CAR hopes that this will help the farmers recover their losses from the effects of Ompong.

Moreover, another proposal for funding is being crafted for submission to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) for the rehabilitation of typhoons Ompong and Rosita damages, he added.

It is recalled that typhoon Ompong hit the Cordilleras on September 2018 leaving vast damages to agriculture that placed the region under state of calamity. //RDibdiben