MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Sept. 23 - Acting Bangsamoro Chief Minister Abdulraof Macacua inked a partnership agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) for the implementation of three new agricultural development projects for Mindanao.
Present during the agreement signing were Jose Luis Fernandez, FAO representative; Keise Usman, director of operations of the BARMM's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform; and Minister for Economic Affairs Masahiro Nakata and Second Secretary Kosuke Kawashima, both representing the Embassy of Japan.
The projects which aim to improve the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers and fisherfolks and their families through agribusiness training and by enhancing agribusiness value chains of key commodities include agricultural training for the establishment of peace in Mindanao, support agriculture and agribusiness enterprises in Mindanao for sustainable development, and support the new Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in establishing BARMM in the Philippines.
The Agricultural Training for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao is a project funded by the Government of Japan which aims to enhance the agricultural vocational skills of farmers and fisherfolks in the Bangsamoro areas and other post-conflict areas in Mindanao, which they can use for their own agriculture-based livelihoods for employment.
The Support Agriculture and Agribusiness Enterprises in Mindanao for Sustainable Development is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) which aims to sustain livelihood and increase the income of farming and fishing households, primarily by enhancing agribusiness value chains of key commodities;
The support the new BTA in establishing BARMM in the Philippines project is funded by the Government of New Zealand which aims to establish close collaboration and coordination mechanisms with BTA and assist in capacitating the new relevant ministries, particularly on promoting food security, nutrition, and resilient livelihoods in BARMM.
Minister Macacua said the Bangsamoro Government is truly appreciative with our joint efforts in making sure that the lives of our people are lifted and prioritized. After all, their general welfare is the heart of the newly ratified Bangsamoro Organic Law.
"Our administration, through the promising tenets of moral governance, assures the international community and most importantly, our constituents, the services, and initiatives will be felt in the ground, In Sha Allah," he added.
Meanwhile, Fernandez said that the implementation of FAO projects in the BARMM is a testament of their continuing commitment in "helping improve the lives of the smallholder farmers and fisherfolks in the Bangsamoro region. More so, this partnership demonstrates their dedication to achieving poverty and hunger-free region - a vision shared by our new partner BARMM."
The agreement signing was followed by the official inauguration of FAO-Philippines' new Cotabato Field Office located at Delcano Street, Rosary Heights 10 in Cotabato City.
The new office, Fernandez said, manifests their support not only to these new projects but more so, our unwavering and longer-term commitment to helping realize a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao.
FAO-UN is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its goal is to achieve food security for all and to ensure that people have regular access to sufficient high-quality food to lead active healthy lives. (Bureau of Public Information)