Photo by Michael Camsa/BIO
COTABATO CITY—BARMM’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) concluded the month-long celebration of farmers and fisherfolks in May 2023 with a remarkable cooking competition, showcasing the culinary skills of farmers.
The event, held on June 7 at the MAFAR Covered Court in this city, highlighted the vital role of agricultural laborers and recognized their invaluable contributions to the region’s development.
First observed in May 1989, Farmers and Fisherfolks Month was established through Presidential Proclamation No. 33 by former President Corazon Aquino. The proclamation aimed to acknowledge and pay tribute to the significant contributions of agricultural laborers to the development of the agricultural sector in the Philippines.
Under the leadership of MAFAR, this year’s celebration, themed “Buwan ng Magsasaka at Mangingisda: Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya” (Month of Farmers and Fishermen: Abundant Agriculture, Prosperous Economy), provided an opportunity for five participating farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) to exhibit their talent in various ways of cooking Tilapia fish.
Engr. Ismael Guiamel, MAFAR Director for Agriculture Services, emphasized the deserving recognition and appreciation for the farmers and fishermen for their invaluable contributions to the region and nation-building. He acknowledged their role in providing food for the community and fueling the region’s economy.
“You provide us food from our table. Hence, you deserve to be recognized for your effort in providing us with food to eat while soaring our region’s economy […] MAFAR and BARMM as a whole are doing everything to help you alleviate the status of living,” Guiamel said.
Pendatun Patarasa, MAFAR Director-General for Fishery Services, highlighted the significant achievements in the Bangsamoro region, attributing them to the tireless efforts and dedication of the farmers and fisherfolk.
He noted that the region has consistently ranked as the highest producer of fish in the country for the past two years.
During the cooking competition, the first place was awarded to Datunot Mantawil and Tarhata Mantawil of Kamari Agri-Aqua Cooperative in Bitu, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, for their Tilapia Sweet and Sour dish. Bakal Sing and Norma Abdul of Sigay Nu Mga Babay Incorporated in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao Del Sur, secured the second place with their Tilapia Escabeche. The third place was won by Latip Amelia and Noraida Akad of Seashore Descendants Farmers and Fisherfolk Association in Kalangan 1, Cotabato City, for their Sinigang Tilapia.
Moreover, Ting Dres and Wahida Dres of Simuay Seashore Rural Workers Association in Simuay Seashore, Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao Del Norte, earned the fourth place with their Tausi Tilapia dish. The fifth place went to Muhaimen Manuel and Halima Manuel of Sitio Maligaya Farmers and Marketing Cooperative in Gadungan, Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao Del Sur, for their Tinolang Tilapia. (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)