Maguindanao farmers get PHP1.8M worth of agri aid

COTABATO CITY, May 23 (PNA) — Farmers in Maguindanao are expected to be more productive with the assistance extended them by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAF-ARMM) Friday.

Makmod Mending, DAF-ARMM regional secretary, said his office has distributed about PHP1.8 million worth of equipment and inputs to pre-identified farmers’ and fishermen’s cooperatives in Maguindanao.

The distribution is aimed at supporting the production of agricultural crops in the region, especially rice and corn.

“Malaking tulong ito sa ating mga magsasaka. Inaasahan natin na tataas ang production ng ating mga farmers sa ARMM dahil sa naipamigay nating mga farm machineries. (This would be of big help to our farmers. We expect their productivity to improve with these machineries),” Mending said.

The sets of machinery include one unit corn mill, two units of hand tractor, thresher, seed cleaner, five units of floating tiller and 18 units of rice cutter. Thirty one cooperatives received the machineries.

The department also distributed hybrid palay seeds with fertilizers and pesticides to 2,461 farmers while 25 fisheries cooperatives received 1,500 kilograms of seaweed implements each.

Apart from these, a Community Trading Post, which will serve as a community-based food depot and distribution system, was provided for use of 13 cooperatives with assistance from the ARMM’s Payapa at Masaganag Pamayanan project.

Mending said the trading post is aimed at making “available and accessible quality products such as fresh agri-fishery at low prices to the marginalized sector of the community.”

The trading post, Mending added, “can empower the community by creating employment opportunities through establishment of small food packaging and food processing center.” The trading post includes a generator set, a freezer, a cooler and other materials needed in the business operations.

The distribution was part of the department’s celebration of the 2015 Farmers and Fisher folks Month and 24th Devolution Anniversary. (PNA)