December 23, 2020
A total of PHP 105 million infrastructure support facilities were turned over in a series of ceremonies on December 17-18 and 21 in Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat to benefit agrarian reform beneficiaries in Mindanao as part of the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to farmers reeling from the impact of COVID-19.
The projects - which include a farm-to-market road, rural water systems, and communal irrigation facilities - were completed in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as part of the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development Project (MinSAAD). The cooperation aims to jumpstart economic activities in agrarian reform communities through infrastructure projects like farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation, potable water systems, and post-harvest facilities.
Farmers and farmers' organizations under the project are also trained on agriculture, agribusiness, and agroforestry development. Four (4) subprojects amounting to PHP 44 million under this component were also turned over to farmer beneficiaries in North Cotabato on December 16.
"Turned over subprojects have to be operated and maintained well for them to sustain the delivery of their intended benefits over their intended economic life. With the increase in household incomes, peace, prosperity, and development will follow within the target settlement area", said Mr. Eduardo Suaybaguio, Project Manager of MinSAAD.
A report of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that the COVID-19 crisis combined with natural disasters have led to food accessibility issues in places like Mindanao. COVID-19 containment measures, the report said, have likewise exacerbated supply chain issues and productivity.
The projects turned over this week will help boost agricultural production. Farmers were also given assistance on rubber production processing and marketing, as well as crop intensification for products like coffee and cacao.
The MinSAAD project also covers farming communities in Davao del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, and South Cotabato.
Turnover ceremony for the Purok 5 Barangiran-Bayang-Makikilo-Sitio Lama Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in North Cotabato
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lindongan Communal Irrigation Project in Lanao Del Norte
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lumbac Communal Irrigation Project in Lanao Del Norte
Unveiling of marker of the Pantaon Level II Rural Water System in Lanao Del Norte