Organic vegetable model farm to be established in Maguindanao
Cotabato City (February 18, 2016) – A one-hectare model organic vegetable farm would soon be established in the town of Rajah Buayan in Maguindanao. The project, which is aimed at providing an example for sufficient and sustainable source of livelihood for farmers in the region, is undertaken by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional government in partnership with ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. (ALKFI).
“This is an excellent project considering it would boost local interest on organic farming as well as provide additional income to farmers,” said ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman. In urban centers, organic food products are generally quoted at premium prices or twice to three times the prices of similar food products from non-organic farms.
ARMM’s economy, Hataman said, is predominantly, or 60%, agriculture noting the project could be replicated in many communities through local government initiatives in partnership with civil society groups.
The organic farm project will be monitored through Governor Hataman’s flagship direct assistance program called Empowering the Bangsamoro Region through Active Community Engagements in the ARMM (EMBRACE-ARMM).
The model farm is among the livelihood projects under the EMBRACE-ARMM program, which hopes to provide sufficient and sustainable source of income for farmers in the region.
The regional government, through its Department of Public Works and Highways, will construct and establish infrastructures for the project including perimeter fences, water and irrigation systems, and a market structure for the farm’s produce. An access road linking the market to the municipality’s major thoroughfares will also be constructed.
The joint venture is expected to assist in the delivery of basic social services as well as develop local enterprises to improve the productivity of communities. It is in line with ARMM’s comprehensive poverty alleviation program implemented across the region.
Maguindanao is one of the provinces in the Philippines with a relatively high poverty incidence. Food security is also a perennial concern given the province’s vulnerability to drought and rat infestation.
ALKFI has been an active partner of the ARMM in addressing the needs of the region, the most recent of which is the conduct of relief operations in coordination with the ARMM’s Humanitarian and Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) in March last year. (Bureau of Public Information)