Cotabato City (December 12, 2019)—The Bangsomoro Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) spearheaded the conduct of the first ‘Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Food Security Summit’ on December 10 to 12, 2019 in Cotabato City.
The summit, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Halal Food Industry Development Program, carries the theme, “Bangsamoro ay Paunlarin: Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita, Halal at Organikong Pagkain ay Siguruhin.”
According to MAFAR minister Mohammad Yacob, the summit aimed to discussed the current challenges affecting food security, presentation of programs and projects that are geared towards addressing the challenges, and bringing together support and agreements to pave way for a profitable agriculture and fishery sector.
“We have carried out the development of the first Bangsamoro security road map – envisioning a self-reliant, food secure and resilient Bangsamoro. […] This will ensure that food is accessible, available, utilized and stable for every Bangsamoro,” Yacob said.
He also said the road map is anchored in three (3) pillars of food security— sustainable, competitive, and accessible food supply chain for the Bangsamoro.
He emphasized that there should be “balanced intake of halal food and adaptive capacity of Bangsamoro communities”.
MAFAR plays the major role in the promotion of sustainable agri-fishery growth and development, equitable land distribution and tenurial security in the Bangsamoro region.
One of the highlights of the activity was the display of thirty-two (32) exhibits that featured various agricultural crops and products from all over the Bangsamoro region.
Gulayan sa Paaralan
During the first day of the summit, MAFAR signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) together with the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) for the program called ‘Gulayan sa Paaralan’. MAFAR minister Yacob and MBHTE minister Mohagher Iqbal led the MOA signing.
The program, which aims to boost the awareness of the young children on the significance of growing vegetables, is expected to be established in 200 schools in BARMM.
Under this project, vegetables should be organically-grown in plots and in empty containers to minimize expenses. It seeks to supplement the food given to students in the school’s supplemental feeding program.
Meanwhile, MAFAR has given recognition to the outstanding farmers and fisherfolk in the region, who have showed exemplary performance on their respective fields.
2019 Organic Agriculture achievers in BARMM:
- Pata Municipality of Sulu Province as the outstanding municipality;
- Hamsa A. Abdul from Maguindanao Province as the outstanding provincial organic agriculture focal person;
- Virginia P. Arreza from Pata Sulu as the outstanding AEW; and
- Basher B. Currie as the outstanding small farmer.
There were also special awards given to the focal persons of OA program:
- Sarha A. Sangkula from Sulu;
- Engr. Papala F. Lawanza from Lanao del Sur;
- Ilmie H. Ibama from Basilan;
- Nixon A. Abdilla from Tawi-tawi; and
- Olano M. Serad from Marawi City
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) – Sulu has also awarded Mercyan A. Aspi, Provincial Agriculture Officer (PAO), as ‘Ulirang Lingkod Bayani 2019’.
The summit was attended by farmers, fisherfolk, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the different provinces of BARMM, and other BARMM officials. (Bureau of Public Information)