The Bangsamoro government and the FAO-UN will implement projects to help farmers and fisherfolk in the region earn more.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file
Agricultural development projects for Bangsamoro region set
( - September 24, 2019 - 10:44am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Monday signed an agreement on Monday for projects to boost farmer productivity in the region.

The joint development deal for the implementation of three programs for farmers was signed by FAO representative Jose Luis Fernandez and BARMM Environment Minister Abdulraof Macacua.

According to the BARMM Bureau of Public Information, those programs are meant to "improve the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers and fisherfolks and their families through agribusiness training and by enhancing agribusiness value chains of key commodities."

The Agricultural Training for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao project is funded by the Japanese government and will provide farmers and fisherfolk in the Bangsamoro and in other post-conflict areas in Mindanao agricultural vocational skills.

The Support Agriculture and Agribusiness Enterprises in Mindanao for Sustainable Development, which is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency, is meant to "sustain livelihood and increase income of farming and fishing households, primarily by enhancing agribusiness value chains of key commodities," the Bureau of Public Information said.

The BARMM and FAO will also work together on supporting the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in establishing the BARMM.

The program will be funded by New Zealand and is meant to "establish close collaboration and coordination mechanisms with BTA and assist in capacitating the new relevant ministries, particularly on promoting food security, nutrition, and resilient livelihoods in BARMM."

Also on Monday, FAO-Philippines inuagurated its Cotabato Field Office in the city's Rosary Heights district. Fernandez said the opening of the new field office shows the organization's "support not only to these new projects but more so, our unwavering and longer-term commitment to helping realize a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao."

FAO works towards food security and towards ensuring access to sufficient and high quality food. — with a report by The STAR/John Unson

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