Japan Provides Funding for the Construction of Eco-Friendly Plant for Lemongrass Oil Distillation in Negros Occidental


Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) - Press Release No. 43 - 2016

Unveiling of the project marker
Distillation Equipment of Lemongrass
Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Kenji Terada, together with Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for the Visayas Hansel Didulo, Management Committee of Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) Head Auke Idzenga and 30 farmer beneficiaries and other guests, led the turnover ceremony on August 8, 2016 for the “The Project for the Construction of Eco-Friendly Plant for Lemongrass Oil Distillation in Negros Occidental” in  Brgy. Mambugsay, Municipality of Cauayan, Negros Occidental. This is part of the Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
In 2013, the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) provided assistance to AIDFI amounting to Seventy Six Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty-Two US Dollars (USD 76,722) or approximately PhP 3 million pesos for the construction of an eco-friendly plant for lemongrass oil distillation.
Negros Occidental is known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines” for its sugarcane production. However, in Brgy. Mambugsay, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, local farmers have been facing extreme poverty because the farmland of the barangay is located in the mountain area and not suitable for sugarcane production unlike other areas in the Province. This situation has hindered the economic growth in the community.
To address the issue, AIDFI focuses on lemongrass as an alternative crop which is more suitable in the area. Thru GGP, AIDFI constructed an eco-friendly plant for distillation of lemongrass oil and procured an oil distillation apparatus and a vehicle for the transport of lemongrass. It is expected that local farmers will benefit from this project as a source of livelihood in their community as production of lemongrass oil will lead them to more stable income. The increased in income will facilitate the farmers to have a longer term life planning and pay for their family’s education and health care.
The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. At present, 519 grassroots projects have been implemented by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute in sustaining strategic partnership between the two countries.