MAFAR CHIEF CONFERS WITH UN-FAO, DA, IFAD VIA ZOOM ON COVID-19 EFFECT

For the second round, MAFAR Minister Mohammad S. Yacob participated in a virtual meeting with the officials of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO), DA, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today (June 19, 2020).

Through Zoom, the officials discussed the conduct and initial result of the ‘Rapid Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 on agriculture and market that has included the province of Basilan and the City of Marawi in the BARMM.

Initiated and done by the UN-FAO, the assessement is in collaboration with IFAD, DA, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and the MAFAR.

The meeting gave emphasis on significant topics that included halal and organic production, involvement of CSOs in the process, islamic financing, and the exchange of goods between Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi in BARMM.

Minister Yacob clarified during the meeting if there are special programming considerations for the demand centers in the BARMM as they have unique situations and have been bombarded by natural and human-induced hazards.

In response, Dr Roehlano M. Briones, Senior Researcher at IFAD, said there will be more extended support for the region and so with other specific recommendations for the other regions.

Meanwhile, Emercency Coordination Office Dr Alberto C. Aduna of UN-FAO, remarked that as per observed, the COVID-19 pandemic jas become a catalyst for more resilient economies.

The case of some financing programs not reaching the smallholder farmers and fisherfolk in the rural areas was also tackled in the meeting.

The first round of the meeting happened on May 4, 2020 during which, the overview and framework of the assessment was presented by the UN-FAO and IFAD and the scope of the assessment and the data needed were discussed with the MAFAR.

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