ARMM provides Lamitan folks with tractor for farming projects PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:30

With a brand new tractor they can use together, Lamitan City’s Muslim and Christian farmers can now plow through the fields and sow the seeds of unity while improving their agricultural productivity through ventures aided by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lamitan City received Monday, in a simple turnover rite in Cotabato City, a farm tractor from ARMM for a communal Muslim-Christian farming venture meant to enhance co-existence among farmers to achieve “food security” in the local communities.

The project, which the ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF-ARMM) will provide with technical interventions, will also involve farmers identified with the Moro National Liberation Front who are peacefully thriving in the 45 barangays of Lamitan City.

The Japanese-made Kubota tractor turned over by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and his agriculture secretary, Makmod Mending, Jr., to Lamitan City Vice-Mayor Roderick Furigay was one of seven the government allotted to the autonomous region in support to agricultural projects in the region.

Two other municipalities, Datu Paglas in Maguindanao and Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, had earlier been awarded by Mending’s office with tractors after having put up a mandatory counterpart of P1.1 for each of the farming equipment package, which included mechanized hydraulic plow harrows, and a two-ton cargo trailer.

Each of the brand new tractors is worth P2.3 million, excluding the set of mechanized plows and cargo trailers.

Mending said the tractors will be used by the recipient LGUs for projects that can boost productivity of farmers, particularly those in still underdeveloped areas.

About 70 percent of Lamitan City’s mixed Muslim and Christian residents rely mainly on farming as source of income, while those in its coasts are engaged in deep-sea fishing as means of livelihood.

The ARMM’s agriculture department has also allocated a unit of tractor to a public agricultural demonstration farm in Barangay Sta. Clara in Lamitan City, according to Mending.

Hataman said the demonstration farm project is being managed by the ARMM’s agriculture department.

Hataman, who led the turn over to Furigay of the tractor, said the recent hostilities in Zamboanga City made ARMM officials realize that one serious concern they have to focus on is how to strengthen “food security” in the autonomous region.

Hataman was referring to the adverse effects of the recent conflict that rocked Zamboanga City to the shipment of agricultural products via the seaport connecting the area to ARMM’s island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Taw-Tawi.

The seaports were all closed from September 9 until last week to prevent endangering the passengers and crew members of vessels plying the shipping routes connecting the four seaport capitals.

The ARMM government’s 67-hectare demo farm in Barangay Sta. Clara also has a P5 million rubber nursery facility established by Hataman’s office.

“We are thankful to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala for being supportive of the ARMM’s domestic agricultural thrusts,” Hataman said.

Basilan is Mindanao’s largest producer of processed rubber tree sap called latex, which has a high market value abroad.