DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New Zealand government has allotted US$2.5 million (P127.79 million*) to support Mindanao’s food production and agricultural development.

Winston Peters, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, said the budget comes as a support for agricultural communities, particularly in Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces.

“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,” Peters said in a statement on Monday, November 13.

The $2.5-million funding will be channelled through the New Zealand Aide Programme managed by the nation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is implemented in collaboration with the Philippine government and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The project is expected to benefit at least 3,000 families of farmers who were affected by conflict and natural disasters, said Peters. It expects to integrate farmer organizations in the chain by providing them with skills development and links to markets.

José Luis Fernández, FAO Representative in the Philippines said their work with New Zealand in the Philippines has benefitted more than 52,000 farming and fishing households.

“With improved yields, increased incomes and resilience, they will have better chances to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity,” he said. (davaotoday.com)


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