ARMM to fund organic chicken, fish industries in Lamitan City PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 September 2014 11:48

A technical school in Davao City and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Saturday crafted an agreement to put up a P17-million organic chicken and fish propagation industries involving Moro communities in Basilan.

The project is part of the ARMM’s Health-Education-Livelihood and Protection Synergy (HELPS) program, a diversified intervention thrust meant to address poverty and underdevelopment in far-flung areas.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and Dr. Francisco Dela Peña Jr., president of the Aces Polytechnic College (APC) in Panabo District in Davao City, signed the agreement in Cotabato City at past 1 p.m. Saturday in the presence of reporters.

The coordinator of ARMM-HELPS, Anwar Upham and Ibrahim Ballaho, chair of Barangay Balas in Lamitan City, where the APC and the ARMM are to put up the project, also affixed their signatures to the document.

Lamitan City is the capital of Basilan, one of the five component provinces of the autonomous region.

Some 50 residents of Lamitan City are now undergoing training on organic chicken and fish culture, including the propagation of bangus (milkfish) and red tilapias in brackish water using only organic feeds.

“Some of those to benefit from this project are ethnic Badjaos,” Hataman said.

Hataman said the project will include the construction of processing plants for culled chickens and cultured fishes.

The APC, which has demonstration farms, will also educate local fishermen on how to raise high-value ocean fish species in cages.

“Everything here will be organic. We shall train them how to produce organic chicken and fish feeds using only ingredients that are obtainable in the province, free from harmful ingredients such as animal fats and growth hormones,” Dela Peña said.

Dela Peña said organic chickens and fishes are good for the health and are, thus, more sellable than those raised with commercial feeds.

“Animal and fishes that are fed with natural foods are `halal,’ which Muslims can eat, having been fed with natural food free from contaminants that are forbidden in Islam,” Dela Peña said.

Farm products labeled halal, which is an Arabic term, are those which are palatable to Muslims.

The project also aims to train residents of Barangay Balas on how to breed fast-growing chickens using parent fowl stocks with western and oriental bloodlines that are good for meat and egg production.