BARMM official reports increased earnings of Mamasapano farmers

BARMM official reports increased earnings of Mamasapano farmers

MANILA, Philippines – Farmers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao del Sur are reportedly now earning double for selling palay or unhusked rice, according to a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) official.

Bangsamoro Transition Authority Interim member of Parliament Atty. Suharto Ambolodto said rice farmers are now selling more than P22 per kilogram of palay, which is twice their usual sale of only P13 per kilogram.

This raises hopes of turning the municipality from a war zone to a rice-producing one.

“In Bagong Pilipinas of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., a small farmers cooperative, Al-Rahman Farmers MPC FARM, with support from Army’s 601st Infantry Unifier Brigade of the 6th Infantry ‘Kampilan’ Division, Philippine Army with assistance from 6th Civil-Military Operations ‘Kasangga’ Battalion, CMO Regiment, Philippine Army embarked on a very humble effort to support the President’s food security program in erstwhile conflict affected areas in the SPMS (Shariff Aguak, Pagatin [Datu Saudi], Mamasapano and Datu Salibo) box of southern Maguindanao in Central Mindanao,” Ambolodto said.

"From a low P13 per kilogram for palay, they are now selling for more than P22, almost double its earlier price, and more than double in volume. Farmers in Mamasapano used to earn only P65,000 per hectare at P13 per kilogram and 5 metric tons. Now at P22 per kilogram and 11.3 metric tons, one hectare can earn P248,000, or a P183,000 improvement," added the BARMM parliament member.

Under the current administration, the Philippines reaped its biggest harvest of 20.06 million metric tons of palay in 2023, putting Malacanang’s agenda to achieve a robust Filipino agriculture sector front and center.
The Palace’s direction toward stronger Filipino rice production also allowed the government to reduce rice imports by 300,000 metric tons.

In a visit to Candaba, Pampanga last Saturday, February 3, President Marcos reiterated the government’s vow to provide stronger government support for farmers.

For his part, Ambolodto’s classmate at the National Defense College of the Philippines, Ricky Bunayog, underscored the Mamasapano farmers’ higher earnings.

“Mamasapano will now be known differently, from being a war zone to a rice zone,” said Bunayog.

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) earlier expressed their support for the Marcos’ administration’s “Bagong Pilipinas” campaign. 

In a statement, Bangsamoro Government Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said he is banking on the consistent implementation of the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) toward the right to self-determination, with CAB recognizing the justness and legitimacy of the Bangsamoro cause and aspirations.

“We, therefore, urge everyone to help protect the gains of the peace process, let us continue to support the current administration and allow peace and civility to reign over the affairs of our land,” he said.

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