In 2017, rural families in the Philippines struggled to regain their livelihoods after a succession of strong typhoons, drought and conflict decimated crops, farm animals and productive assets. Missing the imminent planting season would have meant that agriculture-dependent families would have gone without income for at least three months – relying solely on food assistance.
Through FAO’s timely post-disaster support, 160 000 affected people were able to farm and fish again. This included 27 660 families in conflict-affected areas on the island of Mindanao and 4 320 families in rice-producing Central Luzon provinces who lost their crops to typhoons Sarika and Haima, which hit three days apart. The two typhoons struck 31 provinces in seven regions, resulting in USD 233 million in production losses to the agriculture sector.
To increase incomes and help sustain peace and development in Mindanao, FAO implemented climate-smart farm business schools and trained communities, including women’s cooperatives, on value-added technologies and alternative off-farm livelihoods, such as crafts production and food processing.
FAO’s support enabled affected farmers and fishers to re-establish their livelihoods, income and food supply, many of whom were in debt from the previous cropping cycle. They gained knowledge and skills on farm-level disaster risk reduction and management, drought management, resilient rice-based farming systems and climate change adaptation, which makes them more resilient to future shocks.