We started distributing 400 tons of rice seeds in six rural municipalities south of Tacloban on 12 December 2013, to help farmers win their 'race against time' to avoid missing the current growing season (which ends in March/April).
Farmers have a very short time to plant the seeds to catch this year’s second growing season. Oxfam has been supporting farmers to clear fields and irrigation channels that have been affected by typhoon Haiyan in preparation for the planting of the seeds.
The first distribution supported 4,000 farmers. Oxfam is working with the government, other aid agencies, the farmers and suppliers to reach a further 6,000 farmers in the current planting season.
The seeds were purchased from different growers in Luzon island and are suitable for the low lying area and not dependent upon large amounts of artificial fertilizer or pesticides.
Overall we are urgently trying to reach 500,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Our priority is to reach the most vulnerable families with safe water and sanitation facilities to help protect people from public health risks.