Saturday Jan, 18 2020 07:09:25 PM

Private companies invited to peace partners' caucus

Mindanao Peace Process • 06:45 AM Thu Dec 26, 2019
Manny Piñol
(Photos taken during the visit of President Duterte to Cotabato City for the distribution of land titles to former combatants. Photos by Samuel Ponsica, MinDA OC and Office of DILG Undersecretary Martin Dino)

Public urged to buy Bangsamoro produce

DAVAO CITY  - Private individuals, companies and corporations who wish to contribute to sustaining peace and attaining development in the Bangsamoro Region will now have the chance to do so.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will host a Peace Partners Caucus next month in Davao City to present possible areas of involvement by the private sector to sustain the peace gains made by the administration of President Rody Duterte.

I thought of holding the Peace Partners Caucus two days after President Duterte publicly instructed me to fast-track the development of the Bangsamoro Region, especially in the field of agriculture.

The President was right when he emphasised the need to develop the agriculture and fisheries sector of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) because of the vast resources of the region.

"You focus on BARMM Agriculture," President Duterte instructed me in the presence of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Murad Ebrahim, Al Haj on Monday, Dec. 23.

The Peace Partners Caucus will just be a simple matching of farmers and fisherfolk of the BARMM to potential supporters and buyers from the private sector.

For starters, Feed Mill companies will be asked what raw materials they need in feed formulation could be sources from the BARMM and the volume required.

As previously announced, MinDA will be launching the Sorghum Development Program in Mindanao to produce grains for food and animal feeds.

A Thai Agricultural Corporation based in the Philippines, CP Foods Philippines, has already pledged to the Sorghum grains from Mindanao, especially the BARMM.

Farmers from the BARMM could also produce corn, cassava, copra meal, fish meal and carrageenan as added feed components.

Supermarket chains could also provide BARMM vegetable farmers, especially from Lanao del Sur who have been trained by groups like Go Negosyo, access to the market.

With BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Murad Ebrahim and Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Mohammad Yacob supporting the Halal Meat and Poultry Production Program in the region, MinDA will also link up cattle, goat and poultry farmers to potential buyers.

BARMM fishermen's groups will also be linked up to buyers of their produce.

With the production-marketing agreements forged, MinDA will tap government financing institutions like the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines, to fund the programs.

MinDA will be sending out invitations to the Private Partners Caucus which will indicate the venue and the date of the event.

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