CONVERGENCE PROGRAM FOR BARMM IDPs EXCEEDS TARGET IN NORTH COTABATO VILLAGE

The distribution of farm inputs conducted by MAFAR in Barangay Kabasalan, Pikit, North Cotabato on January 22, 2020, benefited 102 more farmers exceeding its target of 889 beneficiaries. This was despite the difficulties faced by the implementing team in the process of ensuring the orderly flow of the activity, as challenged by some uncooperative acts.

Through the strong cooperation among the facilitating team composed of MAFAR, MSSD, community leaders, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), and barangay officials, the ceremonial turnover and distribution succeeded in giving out corn and assorted vegetable seeds and sets of garden tools to the hundreds of farmer-beneficiaries.

Five hundred ninety (590) farmers received Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) corn seeds, while 401 beneficiaries were able to get assorted vegetable seeds and sets of garden tools exceeding the target of 299 recipients.

The convergence program among MAFAR, MSSD, MILG, World Food Programme of the United Nations (UN-WFP), and LGUs aims to help the conflict-affected people in their quest for early recovery and empowerment.

The MSSD is tasked to take charge of the proper identification, listing, and monitoring of the beneficiaries while the MILG is responsible in securing peace and order during the conduct of every activity.

Meanwhile, the UN-WFP gives out monthly cash for work, worth Php2000 for a period of three months as incentive for the farmers’ productivity in their off and on-farm activities. The beneficiaries have already received Php4000 for two months after their attendance to the training conducted by the joining team and the preparation of their respective land for planting.

Engr. Ismail A. Guiamel, MAFAR Convergence Program Focal Person, conveyed the message of Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob that the program is the product of unity and collaboration among the implementing agencies as solid part of the regional government’s advocacy on moral governance. “We urge you to nurture the seeds you received for them to grow and bear fruits just like the BARMM that is now comparable to a seed that is being cultivated”, said Engr. Guiamel.

On the other hand, Community Leader Ustadz Lakiman Tengli enjoined the beneficiaries to follow the arrangement set by the implementing team and he encouraged them to showcase discipline.

Dr Jalica D. Mangacop, MAFAR High Value Crops Development Program Focal Person, expressed her observation on the need to train the community on food processing like grinding of squash to make noodles as they have oversupply of the vegetable.

Ocular observations and interviews with some of the farmers revealed that they are in dire need of farm to market roads to ease their burden in bringing their produce to the market.

The next round of distribution under the convergence program shall be held in Patikul, Sulu tentatively on January 29, 2020.

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