New Zealand, FAO to help Mindanao in agri dev’t and food security
Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs, recently announced that New Zealand has earmarked US$2.5 million to support the agricultural development and food security in Mindanao.
The New Zealand assistance will fund a project that is expected to reach at least 3 000 farming families in Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces.
The project will be done through the partnership of New Zealand and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Philippine Government of the Philippines.
The primary goal of the assistance is to restore the agricultural livelihoods of communities affected by armed conflict, drought and flooding in the provinces of Cotabato, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur from 2015 to 2017.
“Agriculture sits at the heart of the development opportunity in Mindanao. Half of the Philippines’ agri-businesses are located in Mindanao. An efficient agricultural sector will enable Mindanao to fulfill its reputation as the food basket of the Philippines. The Mindanaoan economy and the health of its people depend on agricultural success.” Rt. Hon. Peters said.
The project will include the improvement of productivity, food and nutrition security and resilience of smallholders through the provision of farming inputs, agricultural machinery, post-harvest facilities and training, among others.
Farmer organizations will also be integrated into the value chain through skills development and market linkages.