By Lou Ellen L. Antonio

MARAWI CITY, Dec 22 (PIA ICCC) — A total of 300 displaced farmers of Marawi City and host families in Saguiaran, Marantao, Piagapo and Ditsaan-Ramain, Lanao del Sur received 32 multi-function tillers or cultivators from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

For every 10 household, one multi-function tiller or cultivator was provided. Each beneficiary also received a pack of assorted vegetable seeds that they can plant, whose produce can either be for personal consumption or sale.

Bonifacio Javier III, Humanitarian Coordination and Conflict Resolution Specialist of FAO Manila, said the distribution is part of their efforts to improve food security in the province.

“Gamitin ninyo ang mga farm machinery para makatulong sa inyo (Utilize these farm machineries to aid you). We want to improve food security in this area of Lanao del Sur,” Javier said
during the hand-over ceremony held in Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol on Dec. 21.

Meanwhile, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Field Office Manager, Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., also reminded beneficiaries of their responsibility in taking care of the farm machinery they received.

“Kayo ay may responsibilidad na alagaan ang mga equipment na binigay sa inyo (You have the responsibility to take care of the farm equipment that were given to you,” Castro said.

Ryan Alamadin Baracat, one of the beneficiaries, thanked FAO and encouraged his fellow recipients to take care of the donated equipment.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa FAO kasi malaking tulong ito sa amin. Sa mga kapwa ko farmer, sana alagaan natin ang mga nabigay ng FAO para masuklian naman iyong binigay sa atin (We thank FAO for their big help. To my fellow farmers, let us take care of the assistance provided by FAO in repayment for their help.),” he said.

Beneficiaries of the Food and Agriculture Organization check on the multi-function tillers that they received. (Photo by James Umaran/PIA-ICCC)

This distribution is part of FAO’s commitment to Marawi residents through Kawiyagan — a monthly livelihood convergence distribution drive spearheaded by TFBM through its Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood in partnership with humanitarian organizations.

For the past months this year, FAO has distributed farm inputs such as rice seeds, corn seeds, fertilizers, assorted vegetable seeds, native chickens, mallard ducks, goats and fishery inputs to the displaced farmers currently residing in Saguiaran, Marantao, Piagapo and Ditsaan-Ramain, Lanao del Sur.

With funds from the Central Emergency Response Fund of the United Nations, this project is implemented by FAO in partnership with World Food Programme, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-ARMM, Department of Agrarian Reform and Mangungaya Mindanao Incorporated. (LEAntonio/PIA ICCC)