By Lady Jean Kabagani

MARAWI CITY, Oct 9 (PIA ICCC) — As the Food Security Convergence continues pouring in over agricultural livelihood opportunities in Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) of Marawi, the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) together with the World Food Programme (WFP) conducted a food security assessment to track the progress of the agri farms of the internally displaced farmers in Barangay Dulay Proper.

The Convergence Project Monitoring Team (CPMT) consists of government line agencies and humanitarian organizations under the TFBM’s Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood, piloted a Joint Monitoring Exercise in one of the barangays included in agri communities of the war-torn city.

Baicon Macaraya, national program officer of WFP explained that the main purpose of the results-based joint monitoring is to visit the farmer beneficiaries and to assess the impact of the livelihood assistance given to them through the food security convergence initiatives.

The monitoring aims to evaluate the livelihood outputs including the expansion of the beneficiaries’ farming areas and harvested agricultural crops from the support they have been provided for.

The assessment includes the facilitating factors which help them to generate income through the food security program.

The monitoring team under food security convergence documented the successes of the farming projects and the underlying gaps confronted by the IDP farmers. TFBM’s livelihood converged agencies and partnered humanitarian organizations have identified some sensible indicators to measure the impact of providing agricultural program in Marawi City.

According to Macaraya, there is a need to capture positive results of the agricultural programs to assess additional aid they can provide sustaining the IDPs livelihood. Meanwhile, evaluating the project’s breaches/gaps will help them recognize farming related-problems that should be addressed immediately.

One of the farmer-beneficiaries in Brgy. Dulay Proper, Marawi City watching over his vegetable farm as the Convergence Project Monitoring Team (CPMT) assesses his planting and harvesting activities. (Photo by Lady Jean Kabagani)

Food Security Convergence also aims to link the returned farmers in market-value chains to improve the livelihood support of the government and its partnered humanitarian organizations.

“Ito ay para lalong mapabuti yung pagbabalik sa kanilang community and that we can finally rebuild hindi lang yung kanilang kabuhayan at pati yung mapayapang pamumuhay dito sa Marawi City,” Macaraya said.

The identified ARCs piloted in Marawi are rich with rice, corn and mixed vegetables production supporting the increase of economic growth in the city.

The Food Security Convergence also projecting fishery sectors to be included in the initiative.

“Ang kaakibat ng tulong na ito, una, ay para makita natin kung ano pa ba yung pangangailangan ng mga areas na ito. Pangalawa, ano yung pwedeng itanim at ano yung gustong itanim ng ating mga farmers. Pangatlo, ano  ba yung pwedeng itanim nila na may siguradong market-value at higit sa lahat makita natin yung mga inputs na pwede pang ibigay sa kanila ng Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) at ng Department of Agriculture DA,” Macaraya shared.

This livelihood convergence program had already uplifted the lives of farmer-beneficiaries and also provided immediate assistance for the maximum economic recovery of the city.

Monitoring and assessment

The CPMT conducted the joint monitoring exercise in Brgy. Dulay Proper.

Over 200 farmer-beneficiaries are farming in more or less three hectares in the community.

The assessor documented the necessary tracking progress of the farmers’ planting activities.


Convergence Project Monitoring Team (CPMT) discusses the farmers’ feedback on the Food Security Convergence Program. (Photo by Wilnard Bacelonia)

“We are doing this, because we are ensuring the livelihood in Marawi City.  We are trying to give these people a chance to start up with their own,” one of the evaluators said.

Enriching the livelihood support

Meanwhile, the ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) conducts series of distribution of assorted vegetable seeds for the returned farmers in Marawi City.

DAF Agricultural Officer Abdul M. Hadji Ali urges the involved agencies and humanitarian organizations to continue the monitoring of the agri farms established through food security convergence, “sana tuluy-tuloy na itong monitoring natin, kung pwede pa sana monthly o kaya weekly na may monitoring para malaman natin kung ano yung napala ng mga farmers natin sa mga binigay nating tulong kung lumago ba o may kailangan pang ayusin. Talagang nakakataulong itong monitoring na ito”.

Moreover, the farmers of these ARCs have undergone rural farming training program under the food security interventions through DAF. The agency continues to assist the farmworkers by providing the farmers’ needs and offering them agricultural and livelihood lectures to farmer-beneficiaries.

The food security convergence initiatives currently provide immediate food access, food diversity and balanced nutrition of the families. Also, assisting about 1,600 farmers expanding their organic rice, corn and vegetable production with complete delivery of farm tools.

TFBM member agencies of the subcommittee on business and livelihood, together with the International non-government organizations, the United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP) and the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO), have strengthened and institutionalized convergence initiatives for the recovery of Marawi’s economy to provide sustainable assistance through agricultural programs, social services, security, business and livelihood of the conflict-affected communities. (LJKabagani/PIA ICCC)