By Lou Ellen L. Antonio

MARAWI CITY, Feb. 26, 2018 (PIA TFBM ICCC) – More internally displaced persons of Marawi City have received training and assistance in farming with the support provided by Go Negosyo-Convergys through a model farm project located in Barangay Linamon Ditsaan-Ramain town, Lanao del Sur.

A beneficiary receives his certificate of completion on training on farming held at Barangay Linamon, Ditsaan-Ramain, Lanao del Sur. (Photo: JUmaran)

Dubbed “Pakaradian ko Ragonan,” a  harvest festival was held wherein its beneficiaries also include residents and farmers of municipalities of Ditsaan-Ramain and Bubong who also received certificates of completion of the program.

Promoting entrepreneurship in agriculture, the program was made possible through the partnership with Century Pacific Food Inc., Vita coco, Harbest, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), local governments of Lanao del Sur, Ditasaan-Ramain and Bubong.

“We hope na iyong mga techniques is talagang naging learning experience para sa inyo na pwede na gamitin sa inyong kanya-kanyang lupa kapag nakauwi na kayo,” said Ana Margarita Hontiveros-Malvar, Go Negosyo’s Project head for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Projects and Adviser for Agri-Enterprises.

[We hope that those techniques will really become part of your learning experience that you could utilize in your own land when you go home.]

It can be recalled the same project was implemented in Barangay Abaga, Balo-i, Lanao del Norte wherein IDPs were also the beneficiaries.  This project is also planned to be implemented in other municipalities in Lanao del Sur.

Department of Agriculture (DA)-Lanao del Sur, meanwhile has pledged to sustain this project in Ditsaan-Ramain by providing the beneficiaries with seeds and planting materials including technical and marketing support.

Beneficiaries of Go Negosyo-Convergys model farm project converged for Harvest Festival. (Photo: JUmaran)

Usop Ditucalan, one of the beneficiaries and an IDP who currently stays in Ditsaan-Ramai, encouraged his fellow residents to also venture farming.

Gusto kong iparating sa mga kapwa ko bangsa (kababayan) kong mga Maranao, napakaganda nito dahil hindi lang makakwarta ka, makakuha ka pa ng healthy body para sa katawan mo. Di masama na magamit mo ang katawan mo dahil yan ang magandang suporta sa pamilya mo, dahil galling sa pawis mo,” said Ditucalan.

[I want my fellow Maranaos to know that this project is good because you will not just earn profit but you will also have a healthy body. There is nothing wrong in using your body because it is a good source of support for your family, that it is from your own sweat.]

Ditculan also expressed that the project helped him forget what happened in Marawi.

“Napakagandang oportunidad na natapos namin, nakuha ang pinag-aralan sa tatlong buwan lang. Ngayon pagtapos namin tuloy-tuloy na. Tatanim kami ng iba’t ibang gulay at prutas para ma-improve namin ang aming buhay,” he said.

[It is a great opportunity for us that we have learned farming in just three months. We will continue this. We will plant different vegetables and fruits so that we can improve our lives.]

A farming project for returned residents of Marawi is also initiated through a convergence by government agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Social Welfare and Development together with United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP) and the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO). (LEAntonio/PIA ICCC)