The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has chosen a fourth class municipality in Lanao del Sur as its showcase for projects in the province.
In a press statement released Tuesday, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said the town of Taraka, located in the 39,000-hectare sprawling Lake Lanao, one of the main sources of hydroelectric energy for Mindanao, will become the Champion Town to showcase projects aimed at poverty reduction.
Piñol made the announcement as his team accompanied town officials and members of farmer groups to Bansalan, Davao del Sur “to the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Centre (MBLRC) in Kinuskusan, Bansalan to learn more about dairy goat raising and the Sloping Agriculture Land Technology.”
Founded by missionary Harold Watson in the 1970s, MBLRC has been showcasing farming technology that has been recognized for better productivity.
Taraka, based on the MinDA data, has a poverty level of 66.86%, and to bring the level down, the agency has identified key projects that will address it.
Under the partnership between the local government unit and MinDA, the former will look for areas where a learning center will be built, while the national agency will look for funding and other related needs from donor agencies.
Among the initial projects identified for implementation are dairy goat raising, duck raising, egg production, backyard chicken production, sorghum farming, modern rice farming, corn farming, and cattle fattening.
Beneficiaries will also be capacitated through trainings so they could adopt farming technology that will ensure better production, solar-power irrigation system and sustainable and environment-friendly agricultural practices.
The program, MinDA said is aimed at helping the population of the town, about 25,000, become more productive so they could serve as example in rural development and poverty reduction initiatives.
The municipal government, under Mayor Nashida G. Sumagayan, agreed with the proposal to make the town a showcase for the province as it is planning to build a learning center similar to the MBRLC.
“We are very thankful because not all local government units are given this opportunity,” said Sumagayan as she noted that the partnership between the municipal government and MinDA will provide them better livelihood activities especially those related to agriculture.
Piñol said the partnership will become part of the “New Hope Learning Centre program of MinDA which it will undertake in coordination with private partners and state universities and colleges in Mindanao.”
He said the program “will serve as an informal school for farmers in Lanao del Sur where they could see actual models of livelihood projects and learn how to do it in their farms.”