JICA, MAFAR gears up SHEP output 2 in BARMM

COTABATO CITY – To continually improve the livelihood of the Bangsamoro farmers, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, met to discuss the SHEP output 2 on Monday, May 15.

The Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion is under Output 2 of the Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro (CDPB) and aims to organize and strengthen the livelihood activities of the agriculture sector.

SHEP is an approach that realizes Market-Oriented Agriculture and converts farmers minds from grow and sell to grow to sell with pilot activities in Maguindanao del Norte.

This activity includes training on the SHEP approach to relevant personnel of MAFAR, training and technical assistance to the farmers, and lastly, monitoring the livelihood activities of the target farmers.

Mr. Shingo Furuichi, Team Leader/ SHEP Approach 1, introduced to the MAFAR team the new members and followed by a discussion that the SHEP Approach 2 will start on April 2023 to January 26, 2026, targeting the small-scale horticulture farmers in Maguindanao del Norte and eventually expand all over the Bangsamoro Region.

He said that it is a great pleasure to be part of the Agricultural Development in the Bangsamoro Region together with the MAFAR team to help the farmers boost their livelihood, especially those smallholder farmers.

Through SHEP, Japanese experts on vegetable and horticulture crops will provide MMOs with ideas for cultivation techniques that farmers can easily try.

JICA introduced the SHEP approach in MAFAR last October 19, 2022, wherein MAFAR municipal officers, supervising agriculturists, senior agriculturists, and technical staff attended the activity.

MAFAR Minister Mohammad S. Yacob, Ph.D., said, “It is always a pleasure to collaborate with JICA to support our Bangsamoro smallholder farmers in improving their knowledge and skills in farming.”

“This joint effort of JICA and MAFAR is giving hope to our farmers lives. We will ensure that we will fulfill our obligation as an implementing agency of SHEP Approach 2,” Minister Yacob added.