By Lou Ellen L. Antonio

MARAWI CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA ICCC) – Some 433 rice and corn producers here have started to receive the last tranche of the cash-based transfer program implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP).

With funds from the Italian government, WFP promoted sustainable farming in October to December 2019 by providing a total of 1,500 farmers with cash incentive based on their produced crops.

Jamael Batingolo of Bito Buadi Itowa expressed his gratitude as one of the beneficiaries.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa WFP kasi sila po nagbigay sa amin ng tulong. Yung binigay na P6,000 binili ng abono para sa sakahan namin,” said Batingolo.

(I thanked the WFP for the assistance given us. The P6,000 was used to buy fertilizer for our farm.)

Batingolo rents a land for his corn production. He shared that he cultivated the farm himself.

He started harvesting his one-hectare corn plantation on November 18, 2019.

Selling it at P8 per kilo, Batingolo earned P18,000 for his first harvest. He spent P5,000 for labor and fertilizer, earning a profit of P13,000.

While waiting for the harvest, Batingolo cultivates another parcel of land to grow vegetables, which he is going to sell at Saguiran del Sur market.

Batingolo expects to harvest in February his corn planted in another one-hectare lot.

WFP National Programme Officer and Head of Iligan Sub-office, Baicon Cayongcat shared that they also intend to help the farmers in market linkage in partnership with Task Force Bangon Marawi, Department of Trade and Industry, and Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform- BARMM.

“We have just met with Robinsons Supermarket. One of the discussions we have is to assess the produce of our farmers, in terms of volume or season,” said Cayongcat.

The implementation of the program is well coordinated with the City Agriculture Office of the local government of Marawi.

With funding support from United States Agency for International Development, the WFP also implemented the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in the different barangays in Marawi City.  MRF aims to promote the segregation of waste in the community while earning. (LEAntonio)