Mindanao guvs adopt food security strategy

DAVAO CITY--Several governors in Mindanao have started the Self-Sustaining Food Security Strategy (SSFSS) recommended by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) by linking up with one another to ensure stable food supply for their constituents.

MinDA crafted the SSFSS earlier this week in anticipation that uncoordinated food supply distribution in Mindanao could create artificial shortages.

The SSFSS aims to ensure that the local government units (LGU) are able to quantify their current food supply inventory and identify possible sources.

On a Facebook post on Thursday, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol cited, for instance, the case of Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang, who earlier expressed the need for additional rice supply in his province.

The MinDA chief said Dayanghirang was provided with information that the neighboring province of Davao de Oro has excess rice production.

On the other hand, North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco is ready to implement the SSFSS in her province which would include the distribution of upland rice seeds to complement the lowland production areas.

Under North Cotabato's SSFSS implementation, the provincial government will also distribute vegetable seeds and backyard chicken breeders to encourage farmers who are confined to their farms to produce more food.

She said farmers produce such as chicken, hogs, eggs, and vegetables may also be bought by the LGUs for distribution to residents as food assistance.

"We don't know how long the problem would last that is why we have to be prepared," Catamco said.

In Tawi-Tawi, Piñol said MinDA is helping Gov. Ysmael Sali transport some 2,000 metric tons of rice from Iloilo Province to Bongao.

He said under SSFSS, the LGU chief executives will be asked to undertake the following actions: design and implement a municipal or provincial food security action plan, conduct an inventory and quantify existing supplies of basic food commodities like rice, eggs, poultry, meat and fruits like banana, and identify individuals or groups which could undertake sustained food production.

MinDA also encouraged families, especially those confined to their farms, to undertake simple food production activities like vegetable growing and backyard chicken raising by distributing seeds and breeding materials for chicken and utilize locally produced food commodities i.e. fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, rice, pork, meat for calamity assistance, thus creating a localized market for farmers’ and fishermen’s produce whose distribution is impaired by the existing lockdowns.

It also tasked to identify neighboring LGUs that have excess production of any food commodity to forge an alliance with two or more LGUs to establish a symbiotic food supply relationship and establish a marketing and distribution.

Piñol said the system would ensure available food supply for the families within the community while at the same time, mindful of the quarantine protocols enforced.

“The lockdowns implemented by the different local government units due to the Covid-19 pandemic could also affect food supply distribution,” he added. (PNA) PIONAIRE FINANCE LIMITED