MALAPATAN, SARANGANI – More than 700 indigenous peoples of different tribes from the provinces of Sarangani, North and South Cotabato converged during the IP Leaders and Farmers’ Summit with the theme, “Indigenous Peoples in agriculture for sustainable development”. The event was held in Malapatan Gymnasium, Malapatan, Sarangani on March 23, 2018.
Hon. Alfonso M. Sincoy, Sr., Malapatan Mayor, in his opening message, said that it is a significant event to address the needs and uplift the lives of our IP farmers and fisherfolk. He also stressed the importance of considering the environment as they engage in new technology and new farming techniques.
The Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, as guest of honor, emphasized that DA will focus more on Pres. Duterte’s objective to “provide Available and Affordable Food to my People.”
During the forum, IP chieftains and farmers from different groups addressed their agriculture-related concerns to the DA Secretary. Problems with farm-to-market roads, access to quality inputs, and tenure status, among other were reported. IP leaders and farmers added that these issues hinder them to produce at optimal level and realize a more decent profit.
In response to the issues raised, several projects were proposed by the IP groups to the Secretary. Project proposals for agro-production (upland rice, abaca, cacao, coffee and coconut), for livestock raising (goat, chicken, and carabao), for post-harvest (corn sheller, solar dryer) and for fisheries (boats) gained approval provided that there is proper validation.
Sec. Piñol also spearheaded the turnover of interventions from the Department of Agriculture Regional Office 12 amounting to PhP 300,000.00 which include rice and corn seeds, various planting materials, organic fertilizers, and abaca seedlings.
Writer: Jean Amoloza, SAAD PR & Communications Officer