MINISTER YACOB ADDRESSES QUERIES FROM BANGSAMORO MEDIA PRODUCTIONS

MAFAR Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob, has substantially answered the queries of the Bangsamoro Media Productions on the programs for the farmers and fishers undertaken by the ministry during an interview conducted at his office earlier today (May 11, 2020).

“Being a minister is a very challenging task, but despite this fact, we are happier to serve the Bangsamoro farmers and witness their positive response, knowing that we have helped them improve their lives by providing their farming needs”, said Minister Yacob.

“Their smile of relief makes us more vigorous in intensifying our efforts to extend the programs and improve their production”, he added.

With inquiries on his usual quotation from the farmers “Kami ang mga magsasaka, ngunit kami ang walang makain”, the MAFAR chief said that upon the merging of the three departments, the ministry took measures to strengthen the programs to support the farmers and fisherfolk more effectively. “Since I started my post last year, we evaluated the real needs of the farmers for us to properly identify the right interventions that we will give them” Minister Yacob stated.

The minister informed the interviewer of the major programs of MAFAR namely Basic Integration for Harmonized Intervention (BINHI) for the agriculture sector, Integrated and Sustainable Development for Aquaculture/Capture (ISDA) for the fisheries sector and Land distribution and development for the Upliftment of Poor ARBs (LUPA) for the agrarian reform sector. These programs are aimed at ensuring that every program implemented is relevant to the respective beneficiaries.

In addition, the SURE Aid Program cash loans for the farmers was mentioned by the minister. According to him, this is a program downloaded by the DA National Office thru the Land Bank of the Philippines to provide cash loans (tax and interest free) to rice farmers affected by the falling prices of palay, and is payable in eight years.

Minister Yacob also emphasized that one of the programs pursued by the ministry is the promotion of Municipal Level Learning Center. This program intends to encourage the young people to raise their interest in farming. “We want to encourage the next generation to advocate farming to guarantee the food sustainability in the BARMM”, said Minister Yacob.

In line with the celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month this May, Minister Yacob expressed his message to every farmer and fisher encouraging them to continue their farming activities amid the global crisis caused by the CoViD-19. He further advised them to continue to produce food for the community.

“We, at the MAFAR, ensure the continuity of the implementation of the programs aiming to rise the economic status of farmers and fishers”, the minister said.

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