Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe attended the turn-over ceremony of “The Project for the Construction of Post Harvest Facilities and the Purchase of Agricultural Equipment in Bubong, Lanao del Sur” on May 29, 2013. The project was funded through the Grants Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
In his message, Ambassador Urabe emphasized that it was important for the people of Bubong to take ownership and make efforts themselves to have a better life.
The project was initiated by the Philippine Foundation for Resources Management, Inc, a local NGO with a grant amount of US$97,058 (approximately 4.1 million pesos). The said amount was utilized through the provision of a warehouse and a solar dryer as well as agricultural implements such as hand tractors, sprayers, rice threshers, milling equipment and a six-wheeler truck. The project is expected to alleviate the plight of farmers in the area, majority of whom are members of Pindoguan Farmers Multi-Sectoral Association (PFMSA), as the items provided through the project will improve their productivity.
Bubong is one of the rice farming municipalities in Lanao del Sur. While most residents rely on agriculture as their main source of income, farmers are identified as one of the sectors having the lowest family income due to the backward farming practices and the absence of pre and post harvest facilities which often result to low agricultural productivity and low quality yields.
The project is part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD). Implemented since 2006 and designed to contribute to the peace process and development in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, the objective of J-BIRD is to enable the people and the communities in the target areas to enjoy the “dividends of peace” through the Japanese ODA (Official Development Assistance) on the basis of “Human Security” principles. As of May 2013, 65 grassroots projects have been implemented under J-BIRD, with the total amount of USD 5.4 million or approximately 280 million pesos. (Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan)