Piñol eyes agriculture as hope for Yolanda survivors
Incoming Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary, Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol eyes agriculture as an answer to the economic restoration of Yolanda stricken areas.
Piñol recently began his “Biyaheng Bukid”, a field work that aims to assess agricultural sector on a micro-level by visiting “remote areas of the country never before reached by other national government officials.” On the first four days of “Biyaheng Bukid”, Piñol, together with his team –his driver and an aide – visited local farmers in Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Southern Leyte. Their visit focused on typhoon Yolanda relief efforts, and how agriculture can play a part on the economic recovery.
He is eyeing to re-introduce Abaca Farming, as mentioned in his Facebook posts, where he documents his visits. “If there is really a huge market, we could reintroduce Abaca as an intercrop to coconuts not only in the Leyte area but also Samar Island and Bicol Peninsula”, Piñol said.
He also sees Yolanda survivors as the future food producers of the country.
He said that the vast abandoned areas can be a good venue for crop planting. In addition to that, “They could even raise hogs in a communal facility and I have designed a model for this when I was still Governor. They could also raise meat chicken or go into organic egg production. A lot of things could be done to lift them up again.” Piñol mentioned on his Facebook post.