By Rohanie Yahya
COTABATO CITY—Maguindanao farmers will now benefit from the Minsitry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform’s (MAFAR) rice processing building which was turned over Monday, Sept. 26, at Damalusay, Datu Paglas in the said province.
Datu Paglas Farmers Irrigators Multi-purpose Cooperative will utilize the facility that has an area of 750 square meters and an estimated storage capacity of 25,000 to 30,000 bags of rice. The building costs Php8-million funded under the Bangsamoro Appropriation Act (BAA) of 2020.
MAFAR Director Ismael Guiamel emphasized that the building should be maintained and used to serve its purpose of storing harvested agricultural products.
“The BARMM Government, through MAFAR, is always here to assist and help you [farmers], especially the less fortunate in any way that could uplift your living conditions,” Guiamel said, adding that the Ministry’s support to the community in Datu Paglas will continue such as the provision of palay, corn, and high value crops seeds to struggling farmers.
MAFAR Municipal officer-in-charge Rudy Lumapinet said that MAFAR’s assistance has reflected the actual gains of peace in the locality led by the leaders of BARMM.
“We are very fortunate and thankful for having their full commitment and support to the Bangsamoro farmers or grassroots communities,” he said.
Mohammad Ayada, A veteran farmer and owner of 4 hectares rice fields, said, “having this facility is a big help for us, being an ordinary farmer, because we usually store our agricultural products at home with a very limited space. Also, the change in weather damages our products, especially when stored in an open, humid or moist area.”
Also present at the event was Municipal Vice-Mayor Ibrahim Paglas, who expressed his appreciation to MAFAR and the Bangsamoro Government for providing the rice storage facility to their local farmers.
“Let us take good care of this building because this facility is not intended for us leaders in this town but for our local Bangsamoro people, especially our farmers in order to uplift their lives,” Paglas said. (With the story from Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)