THE MINDANAO Development Authority (MinDA) has urged Mindanao local government units (LGUs) to increase local food sufficiency to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their constituents.

In a statement on Tuesday, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, MinDA chair, said during his consultations with LGUs, he pointed out that while Mindanao could sufficiently supply the needs of its population, “the rising prices of goods in Metro Manila and Luzon because of short supply could destabilize the food sufficiency programs of the region.”

He said LGUs must come up “self-reliant food production programs” to ensure that their constituents will have enough food on their tables.

“An example is the increased demand for live hogs from Mindanao to be shipped to Metro Manila which has resulted to a dramatic increase in the farm gate price from P90 per kilo {live} last year to as high as P220 per kilo now,” he said.

Piñol also added the demand for beef, vegetables, and fish has also intensified “as Metro Manila grapples with skyrocketing food prices.”

MinDA is proposing various strategies to be adopted by Mindanao LGUs including livestock production through the establishment of LGU-owned “Cattle Fattening Feedlot” using locally procured cattle or imported steers; Hog Production Program through a “Communal Hog Raising Concept” where LGUs will be setting facilities with sufficient biosecurity safeguards against the African Swine Fever (ASF), which have previously affected the backyard hog industry.

A “Free Range Chicken Production Program” is also being proposed by MinDA, and this will be done through the establishment of Provincial Breeding Centers for locally bred poultry for distribution to farming families; Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is also eyed by the agency by putting up post-harvest facilities such as ice-makers and cold storage facilities “to encourage fishermen to catch more fish.

MinDA is also proposing the Intensified Vegetable Production to be adopted by the LGUs to ensure “sufficient local supply at affordable local prices.”

“While these developments would benefit Mindanao food producers, an intensified effort to produce more should be undertaken in the region to ensure food sufficiency,” Piñol said.

He noted that these food production initiatives designed by the agency will also be financially supported by its banking partner, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

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Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2021/01/27/mindanao-lgus-urged-intensify-food-production/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mindanao-lgus-urged-intensify-food-production)