MAFAR, PLGU-BASILAN TO INTENSITY MEASURES IN ATTAINING FOOD SECURITY
“We need you, and you need us or vice versa”, agreed both Hon. Governor Hadjiman Hataman Salliman and Minister Mohammad S. Yacob during their meeting that started the Provincial Strategic Consultation Cum Site Visitation conducted by MAFAR-BARMM in Basilan on August 28, 2019.
The partnership between the ministry and the local government has intensified owing to the province’s topmost plan to bring its people closer to the land and have them enhance their economic activities through farming.
“We are dependent on imported rice and vegetables; we have to produce our own. This is a challenge for as we find most of our people here very far from the land that it has become idle”, said Governor Hataman.
The governor also noted that they used to be dependent on their major crop rubber and that it has no sustainable market and the price has greatly declined these days. According to Hon. Vice Governor Yusop T. Alano, the buying price of rubber now in Basilan is Php28 per kilo when it has reached higher than Php100.
Governor Salliman informed the team from MAFAR that the province has more or less 1000 hectares suitable for rice production. They have also distributed 500,000 coconut seedlings for replanting owing to the damage caused by coconut scale insects or “Cocolisap” where almost half of the productive coconut trees were cut down.
With these information and the ministry’s drive to bring the government closer to the people, Minister Yacob signified his gladness as they have identified solid areas for collaboration. “We, at MAFAR, are one with you in your journey of making your communities busy in farming and fishing. We are committed to support you in capacitating your constituents on their farming livelihood and securing clean titles”, the minister added.
After the coutesy meeting, the team visited the government center in Santa Clara, Lamitan City, and the district engineering office to tackle and inspect the proposed MAFAR provincial office buildings at its periphery.
The Santa Clara Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (SCARBIDC) was also visited by the team. Their ARB organization has a total land coverage of 4000 hectares with 1,339 agrarian reform beneficiaries who have been processing Excelsa coffee powder.
At the Basilan State College Amphitheater, the actual provincial strategic consultation with 280 employees of MAFAR-Basilan was conducted after the field visits. The interactive meeting was successful with the assistance of OIC Provincial Agricultural Officer Gani Yahiya , OIC-Provincial Fishery Officer Sandra K. Kunting, and Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer I Minda Jamjiron.
The consultation made it possible for the employees and the ministry to clear significant queries out with the phasing out plan like the approval and release of the final organizational structure and plantilla positions tentatively in October this year.
Minister Yacob said, the team has reached out to them to personally explain everything that they have been needing to know and that the strong partnership between and among them continues with end goal of making the clienteles happy by increasing their production and income.