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MinDA crafts program for food sustainability

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has partnered with the business sector in crafting a food supply and demand system for sustainability in Mindanao.

In a press statement Monday, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, MinDA chair, said that the Minfood program, which was finalized on Sunday, would create a value chain that will address food security especially in the middle of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Piñol said he first introduced the program in 2018 when he was still the Agriculture secretary under the National Food Security Plan, but it failed to take off as it was overtaken by events.

“Everyday is a working day for those who dream of making Mindanao a better place to live in,” Piñol said as the program will also establish a food positioning system for the provinces in Mindanao.

“I issued a directive for the crafting of the Mindanao Food Supply and Demand Map indicating the products each province produces in excess and where these are needed,” Piñol said, adding that when the program starts operating, “a private group will provide the logistical support in repositioning the food supplies in areas where these are in short supply.”

One example that the program can be tapped, he said, is in bringing vegetable produce in Bukidnon to Zamboanga del Norte and Surigao del Norte which, in turn, can also be the sources of aquamarine products from the fishing villages of the two provinces to Bukidnon and Cotabato.

Among the business groups that have signed up with the program are the Davao City-based Eng Seng Food Products and M’lang, North Cotabato-based Don Bosco Multi-Purpose Cooperative, an organic rice producer.

“Eng Seng President John Tan said his company would buy organic rice produced by farmers who belong to the Mindanao Organic Rice Council, an organization initiated by MinDA, at P25 per kilo,” said Piñol, adding that the cooperative will pack and process the product while Tan’s company will market it.

“This will ensure our organic rice farmers a ready market for their produce and, at the same time, encourage others to shift to organic rice farming,” he further added.

The Durian Industry Association of Davao has also prepared for the coming harvest season of fruits, which usually takes place between August and October as the agency is looking at initiating fruit festivals in the Visayas, he added.

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