Author: Madelaine B. Miraflor
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
New Zealand (NZ) and United Nation’s (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have committed to further support the Philippine government in developing the agriculture sector of Mindanao as well as the region’s food security situation.
Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs, recently said that New Zealand has earmarked US$2.5 million to support the agricultural development and food security in Mindanao.
Moving forward, the New Zealand assistance is expected to bankroll a project that aims to reach least 3,000 farming families in Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces.
The project, a statement showed, is supposed to build on the gains of the efforts by New Zealand and FAO in collaboration with the Philippine government 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.