Japan turns over fertilizer grant to the Philippines for the benefit of typhoon-affected areas

News and Press Release
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Press Office - PR#116-2009

The Government of Japan officially turned over 13,500 metric tons of fertilizers to the Government of the Philippines under the 31st Japan Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers Program (formerly known as 2KR or Japan's Increased Food Production Program). These comprise part of the 26,135 metric tons of fertilizers worth 480 million yen or approximately 253 million pesos procured by the Philippine Government under the program.

At the port of Subic on December 3, 2009, Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura formally turned over the fertilizer grant to Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Bernie G. Fondevilla. In his speech, Ambassador Katsura remarked that the Program serves as a continuing testimony of the cordial friendship and cooperation shared between the Philippines and Japan as it helped alleviate the plight of low-income farmers who were severely affected by recent typhoons.

The first two shipments of 12,635 metric tons of fertilizers arrived in Davao on September 9, 2009 and in Iloilo on October 2, 2009, respectively. The first batch of fertilizers was distributed to selected low-income farmers in Mindanao, particularly the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte and South Cotabato. The second batch was distributed to underprivileged farmer-beneficiaries in Iloilo and Negros Occidental provinces. Ambassador Katsura led the symbolic turnover for these first two shipments of fertilizers, which was held at the Iloilo port on November 4, 2009.

The third shipment of 6,000 metric tons which is part of the assistance turned over on December 3, 2009 arrived at the Subic port in Zambales last November 12, 2009. These will be distributed to typhoon affected provinces in Northern Luzon namely, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Isabela and Cagayan Valley. The last shipment of 7,500 metric tons is expected to arrive in Subic port, Zambales on December 14, 2009. These will be allocated to low-income farmers in selected provinces in Central Luzon which were affected by typhoons, namely Tarlac, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija.

The Government of the Philippines, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, will monitor the distribution of the commodities and ensure that these agricultural inputs will reach the target farmer-beneficiaries in these selected provinces.

The Exchange of Notes for this Grant-Aid was signed between Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Makoto Katsura and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo last March 30, 2009.

For the past thirty years, the Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers Program (formerly known as the 2KR Program) has made a positive impact on the livelihood of Filipino farmers and this recent tranche reaffirms Japan's commitment to support the efforts of the Government of the Philippines to alleviate poverty and achieve food self-sufficiency.

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