By MIKE DELA RAMA
LEGAZPI CITY – Three towns and two cities composed of 300 poorest families in the province of Albay have been identified for the implementation of a pilot project with an aim to improve the lives of economically displaced residents by calamities such as typhoons, floods, landslides, and Mayon volcano eruption.
The project has been initiated by the provincial government of Albay with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
The project will cost P5 million and will develop a climate change preparedness model out of Albay in order to promote sustainable food security, nutrition, generate income, employment to provide for other needs and build capacities of food and income deficient people to make the model sustainable.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the project will deploy the strategies developed by the NAPC and Farmers Community Development Foundation International (FCDF) with funding from UNDP.
The project components to promote food security and nutrition are: planting of carbohydrate-rich root and tuber crops, corn and vitamin/mineral rich native vegetables; establish a native vegetable garden in every school and day care center to support feeding program; planting of fruit bearing tree in every home; organic fertilizer production; poultry (native chicken) raising in every home; and food security garden in every barangay.
The official explained that this initiative can help provide nutritious foods immediately to displaced families due to calamities.
This project also promote income generation and employment through a banner vegetable and fruit in every barangay; an organic fertilizer factory in selected barangays and produce 200 head native chicken breeding project.
Jeresha San Jose, program coordinator of the Albay Millennium Development Goals Office (AMDGO), said the project entitled “Developing a Model to Promote Food Security and Nutrition in the Province” will be piloted in the towns of Sto. Domingo, Guinobatan and Daraga towns, Legazpi City and Ligao City.
One hundred target beneficiaries in every pilot town or city will be selected to participate the project. “This number will increase as loan repayments are collected and re-loaned until almost all or all interested residents are served.”
San Jose explained that this project will help beneficiaries prepare climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. “This will also enable economically displaced families to produce their food in the shortest possible time when natural calamities strike.”
She emphasized that in this project there will be no dole-outs, meaning nothing is free except training and capacity building and farmers have to pay for all inputs they will use and repayment can be re-loaned to other farmers until all target beneficiaries are served.
San Jose said to access the capital, a micro-credit in-kind will be established in which it would be easy for participants to borrow and even easier for them to pay.