MAFAR-BARMM TO BOOST SOYBEAN INDUSTRY IN THE REGION

Before a group of almost 700 people, mostly farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao  (BARMM) has ascertained to support the improvement and sustainability of soybean industry in the region starting up with the Province of Maguindanao.

The pronouncement happened during the mass graduation ceremony of the School-On-the-Air (SOA) on Soybean Production, Utilization, and Marketing held at the MAFAR-BARMM Covered Court on June 13, 2019.

The activity finally concluded the SOA program that was aired via Brigada News FM for over four months through the stewardship of the BARMM Integrated Agricultural Research Center (BARMMIARC) and the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID).

More than 500 farmers from DatuHoffer, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Talayan, and Upi, all of Maguindanao, student-OJTs from different colleges and universities in Mindanao, and research associates, presented by RAFID Chief Dr Kadiguia R. Abdullah, Al-Hadja, were confirmed graduates by MAFAR Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob. The farmers received their certificates of completion with their municipal agricultural officers.

Minister Yacob urged the farmers to be role models and share their learning to the other farmers and agricultural stakeholders in terms of soybean production as they are the first recipients and the first ones to be well-taught on the technologies of soybean production and utilization. He said that all the programs of the ministry are implemented for the benefit of the farmers and fishers. He then announced that the ministry shall continue to support them in their soybean venture and that the ministry shall be visiting and consulting directly with the farmers in the municipalities. The minister pointed out that the plan is aimed at knowing the real situation and the challenges faced by the farmers that shall serve as a guide for the ministry to design effective solutions and strategies to secure improved and sustainable productivity among the farmers and fishers.

Meanwhile, then BARMMIARC Manager Tong A. Abas shared the comprehensive technology on soybean production and its health benefits. He informed the group that soybean is the king of beans and it has the highest protein content, even higher than that of meat. He also facilitated the launching of the feeding program that was led by Minister Yacob, assisted by Research and Development Director Dr. Daud K. Lagasi and MAFAR-Maguindanao Operations Chief Dr. Ronjamin M. Maulana. Students and teachers from HadjiEdza Memorial Elementary School graced the activity as the school shall be the pilot site of the feeding program.

The graduation ceremony was also highlighted by cooking demonstrations and a contest involving Rural Improvement Club members and students. The activities showcased soybean-based food and drinks including soymilk of different flavors and sumptuous snacks that are expectedly acceptable and shall be fancied by children.

The SOA program shall be followed by another kind that will be focusing on Adlai, a healthy substitute for rice.

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