Kiangan El Nino victims find income in sunflowers
by Vency D. Bulayungan
Kiangan, Ifugao (1 May) -- With the ricefields and gardens drying up due to the dry spell, farmers here found an alternative source of livelihood in sunflowers.
Benito Licyayo Jr and wife Maria from Upper Poblacion here help each other remove sunflowers petal carefully arranging them on used bond papers to dry. Benito relates that packing the said petals is the job of parents while their kids gather sunflowers.
Sold at P14.00 a gram, Licyayo said that his family can earn an average of P400.00 a day. We are glad that the said amount can sustain us since we cannot go to our farms now due to lack of water, he said.
Ms. Madeline Tayaban, who introduced the project said that the dried petals will be sent to Care Channels, Inc., a religious organization in Manila, that uses the petals as decorations in greeting cards.
Though just started, about 20 families here are engaged in the said project. Tayaban said she is happy helping her neighbors have an income especially in times like this when people go hungry because of the El Nino.
The municipal government here declared the town a calamity area when 90% of its agricultural lands were affected by the drought. Many farmers were forced to their ricefields due to lack of water.
The municipal government distributed NFA rice to families heavily affected by the said drought. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]