internally displaced farmers from Marawi City and Balo-i, Lanao del Norte finally earn their first harvest from a 103-hectare yellow corn plantation recently.
With the help of Go Negosyo, a private sector foundation, Jardine Distribution, Incorporated, Aboitiz Foundation, and Pilmico, IDP farmers from Marawi continue to recover through agri-business.
The farmers were earlier trained by Go Negosyo on how to farm fruits, vegetables, poultry and yellow corn directly supplied to Pilmico Foods Corporation.
“It’s like we at Pilmico, made it an advocacy to prioritize Marawi IDP farmers. The Marawi-Balo-i Farmers’ Assiciation (MBA) corn production passed our quality assessment, they’re close-by from our Iligan plant and they need help. We don’t want to pass through middle men. We want to make business directly to our IDP farmer organizations to maximize their profit,” Pilmico corporate social responsibility specialist Katrina Bayog-Mercado said.
Meanwhile, Go Negosyo ARMM program head and adviser for Agripreneurship Ginggay Malvar is looking forward for project expansion in Lanao provinces.
“We started last year with Balo-i, we opened a vegetable project in Ditsaan-Ramain which expanded in poultry and about to start a 50-hectare rice farm, and also a 50-hectare rice field in Bubong,” Malvar said.
Go Negosyo is also planning to make a sunflower farm in Sagonsongan expected to attract tourists.
“Agriculture is a good business as long as you do it right and as long as you know the market. Go Negosyo will always be here to support. We leave it to the farmers on how they manage their profits. We’re just training them on how to do that,” Malvar added.
The MBA started with 1,000 members after the Marawi siege and registered to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“We realized that we can’t stay in evacuation centers and just depend on relief assistance. We should go out and empower ourselves,” Abdari Lininding, MBA president explained.
MBA uses its profits to act as what Go Negosyo did to them: to expand to other areas, encouraging and assisting other farmers in organizing their own association.
Meanwhile, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) field office manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. committed to support the livelihood assistance of Go Negosyo for the displaced families of Marawi City. (Wilnard Bacelonia/PR)