Japan-funded rubber facility, launched in North Cotabato
Instead of focusing on corn production, a new facility in North Cotabato will divert farming into rubber, to improve farmers’ livelihood in the region.
Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza, Banisilan Mayor Jesus Alisasis, First Secretary Kenji Terada of the Embassy of Japan, along with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Representative Yuko Tanaka, and around 300 farmer-beneficiaries, spearheaded the turnover rites of the Banisilan Rubber Production, Processing and Marketing Enterprise, which is under The Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD), in the Municipality of Banisilan, North Cotabato Province on August 3, Manila Times reported.
Manila Times said that a project under MinSAAD led the creation of the facility, which was backed through Japan’s Official Development Assistance program for 6.063 billion yen, or approximately P2.64 billion.
The Banisilan Rubber Production, Processing and Marketing Enterprise intends to develop the local rubber production area, and expand it to 2,200 ha and produce 696 metric tons rubber crumb worth about P36.9 million per year.
MinSAAD is under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), and intends to improve mobility of farm products and commercial goods, farm efficiency, and enhance the livelihood of farmers.
The farmers, in the previous years, mainly focused on corn production for the majority of harvests in these regions. The program intends to allow the rubber facilities to benefit and empower the farmers, together with their families with higher income from rubber production, produce livelihood opportunities as well as develop the farmers’ economic status in Banisilan and the nearby areas, the report said.