HOTNESS OVERLOAD | The face of devastation has transformed into thriving diversified farms and dynamic rural enterprise.

In December 2012, Typhoon Pablo hit the town of Cateel in Davao Oriental and claimed lives as well as damaged their livelihood.

One farmer stood up and led the rebuilding of their livelihood through chili production. Luis C. Bueno, Jr. chairman of the Malibago, Aliwagwag, Malajos, Aragon Tree Farmers Association says they turn to chili production as it will only take few months for farmers to harvest its produce and earn the much-needed income to overcome the devastation.

DA-HVCDP XI provided the chili seeds to expand their production areas and machines to hasten their chili powder processing.

Seven years after, the association, (which is 90% IPs) has produced El Tigre hot sauce which can rival leading brands in the market. "DA-AMAD supported us in marketing our products by sending us to fairs and exhibits where we reached out to more buyers," Bueno says.

Their chili production areas are now teeming with lush Falcatta trees intercropped with cacao, durian, coffee, and bananas which Bueno says is model for diversified farming.

"Chili plants are still there not only to sustain our chili production in keeping the farm clean and fertile," Bueno says adding other high-value crops will sustain farmers' income during chili's lean months. | via Noel Provido RAFIS11 Photos by Ronell Tangonan