JAPAN has agreed to provide a P377-million grant to support sugarcane farmers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Japanese Embassy to the Philippines said.

In a statement Monday, Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koji Haneda said he signed and exchanged notes with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. for a Japanese grant worth 800 million yen to assist around 84,000 Filipino sugarcane farmers.

The grant includes the provision of farm machinery such as tractors, harrows, whole-stalk sugarcane planters, and mulchers, among others.

The grant also helps the Philippine sugar sector address its productivity and cost issues.

“The program wishes to help farmers whose meager sources of income are aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Embassy said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave