South Cotabato planners endorse DAR’s P241-M high-value crop development

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the project is part of DAR's Mindanao Sustainable Settlements Area Development (MINSSAD) Project, a community-based anti-poverty program of the national government.

She said the Provincial Development Council (PDC), the province's highest development policy-making body, also gave its go-signal to the project to start this year in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu town.

"The focal industries will be the high-value crops and corn-based products that thrive well in the area," she said.

Fuentes said the project components include basic social services, infrastructure development, agriculture and agribusiness development, institutional development and environmental enhancement.

The bulk of the allocation will go to the infrastructure component, with P160 million, she said.
The infrastructure funds will be utilized to construct roads, bridges, irrigation and postharvest facilities, and to rehabilitate roads, she said.

The agriculture and agribusiness component will get an allocation of P51.6 million, of which P30 million will be used to produce high-value crops, P6 million for corn and banana production farming systems, P10 million for the establishment of a corn-based production industry and P5.6 million for rice production farming systems.

The social services component will get P18.1 million, which will be used to fund basic social services projects such as school buildings, barangay health stations, potable water system and multi-purpose buildings.

Fuentes said the project proponents allocated P6 million for environmental enhancement and P5 million for institutional development initiatives.

The eight-year MINSSAD project, which started in May 2001, aimed at alleviating poverty, institute agrarian change, spur economic growth in the settlement areas and ensure viable and sustainable development in the settlements.

The MINSSAD will have a total fund of P2.3 billion, to be funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and to cover at least eight settlement areas in Mindanao. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)