Boosting Economic Development of Mindanao

Article excerpt

Mindanao is getting a big share of the 2013 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to fund farm infrastructure, mostly irrigation systems and farm-to-market roads. A big part of the 2013 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways will also go to infrastructure projects for Mindanao, to support the newly signed peace agreement.

The DA will set up a community-based hatchery for high-value marine species to boost aquaculture. Post-harvest facilities for high-value crops will include trading posts, grains centers, and cold storage plants. A triple-A abattoir will be established under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. The government sees the region's great potentials for agriculture largely due to its environment, vast plantations, and grazing fields. More funds will help improve the livestock sector, develop alternative feed technologies, and explore new export opportunities.

The DA is banking on the development of Mindanao so that products from the region can compete when the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) becomes an integrated community by 2015. The government is working to reduce food imports by the end of 2013. The government is targeting to become rice self-sufficient and export rice by next year. …