MinDA Backs Mindanao-wide Farmers Talk
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) expressed support for the conduct of the first Mindanao Farmers Conference, which gathers today more than 3,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and farmer cooperatives from all regions of Mindanao.
The conference held at the Davao Recreation Center is organized by Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka at Nagkakaisang Organisasyon sa Kanayunan (UNORKA) – Mindanao, and supported by the European Union.
UNORKA-Mindanao is a federation of ARBs and farmer cooperatives and is among the first beneficiaries of the Technical Assistance for Fairtrade Compliance provided for by MinDA through its Mindanao Collective Trademark (MCT) program. Fairtrade compliance allows for more stable income for the farmers, while also reducing the vulnerabilities of their commodities.
“Product certification is just one of the many assistance that the ARBs need if there is one thing evident from what we have gathered on the ground, it is the need for inter-agency support to uplift the quality of lives of these farmers,” said MinDA OIC-Chairman Nathaniel Dalumpines.
Through its Inclusive Business (IB) and MCT programs, the agency has been supporting and facilitating the rounds of consultations conducted in preparation for the slated conference, in partnership with the University of Southeastern Philippines, and the departments of Trade and Industry, Agriculture, and Agrarian Reform.
“MinDA’s support forms part of our commitment to make Mindanao’s development more inclusive by supporting initiatives for rural development through our IB and MCT program,” Dalumpines said while adding that this is also aligned with the Duterte administration’s thrust to promote rural development, ensure inclusive growth, create robust economic activity in areas outside of Metro Manila.
The farmers’ group endorsed resolutions to the President and key government agencies for necessary interventions, particularly on land rights, provision of modern post-harvest facilities, and capacity building on product development and marketing.
Workshops on key commodities including banana, coconut, oil palm, cacao, coffee, fruit trees, and cereals were conducted in May to gather inputs for the resolutions.
MinDA committed to assisting in coordinating government actions on the endorsed resolutions.