Program focuses on farmers and fisherfolk

TACLOBAN CITY– Government offices are working as one to help address the poverty incidence, particularly those in the farming and fishery sectors.

The government has earlier launched the program dubbed Enhanced Partnership Against Poverty and Hunger Program or EPAHP.

This involves partnerships with different major government offices like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), among others.

Its primary goals are to mitigate hunger, reduce poverty, improve malnutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, and link farmers and fishermen to the market, Noel Villones, EPAHP regional coordinator, said.

Here in the region, EPAHP continues to help fishermen and farmers who belong to the 5th and 6th class municipalities which have high poverty incidences.

EPAHP serves as a link that connects fishermen and farmers in need or community-based organizations directly to the market.

With their help, these people can secure buyers instantly and even receive huge assistance from the different institutions involved.

Aside from connections, they also teach their beneficiaries about financial literacy and train them in proper water resource management and sustainable agriculture.

Villones said the impact of this initiative on the poverty rate of the region has also been observed.

In 2018, there was a 30.4% poverty incidence, and as of the first semester of 2023, it was reduced to 26.10%, resulting in a 4.3% reduction.

Currently, EPAHP continues to work towards its mission to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by the year 2030.