BPDA facilitates BFSTF workshop

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COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) successfully facilitated a three-day workshop on Bangsamoro Food Sufficiency Task Force’s (BFSTF) Phases 2 and 3 from December 8, 2020 until December 10, 2020, held at Avior Hotel, General Santos City.

The workshop aims to review and enhance the phase 2 of workshop outputs on mapping of plans, programs, projects, and activities (PPPAs), identify emerging issues and gaps on food security, and determine opportunities that will facilitate and contribute food towards sustainable food system in the region.

Bangsamoro Director General Engr. Mohajirin T. Ali emphasized the agriculture’s importance on Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) food security especially during the pandemic.

“We have seen the importance of agriculture especially on food security. With this, MAFAR Minister Yacob, I and the help of WFP initiated to come up with the creation of this task force,” Ali said.

Meanwhile, a convergence program dubbed as the “Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program-Kayod Ka Bangsamoro” is ongoing between the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) and BPDA that promotes the locally produced agri-fisheries products of the BARMM.

“At the end of this workshop, we are expecting a very concrete result of the workshop.  By the next year, In Sha Allah, we can start the implementation of those identified PAPS on food security.  Through this we can help the farmers to increase their income and livelihood as well as boost the economy of BARMM,” Ali added.

MAFAR Director Ismail Guiamel, explained the right utilization of budget especially on food security.

“We also need to consider the economic status of BARMM in mapping of PAPS. At this time of pandemic, food security plays a big role.  So, we have to prioritize PAPs related on food security. In MAFAR, we include in our proposed PAPS the establishment of buying station as we can see its contribution to the food sufficiency in BARMM,” Guiamel stressed.

Dr. Mishael Argonza, the World Food Programme (WFP) Cotabato Sub-Office’s head was elated for the BARMM’s effort on the recently launched Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Roadmap.

“I would like to congratulate the BARMM region on launching the FSN Roadmap on October 16, 2020.  We are proud as your partner to contribute on this as it was recognized in the national for being the first region who have crafted the FSN. Moreover, I’m looking forward to this task force to do more and work on the realization of FSN roadmap.  Again, congrats to the BFSTF and TWG who are working for the total development of the Bangsamoro,” Argonza said.

Argonza added that he has high hopes for the FSN and BFSTF to have a place on the legislative side, specifically in the BTA in strengthening the policy with the assurance on the realization of FSN, and putting in place the mechanism for food sustainability within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. In attendance during the workshop were the planning and focal persons of the task force that includes the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), Office of the Chief Minister (OCM-TMS) and the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT).  In addition, the National Nutrition Council (NNC-BARMM) was also invited to observe as a support agency.  (BPDA-BARMM)