Maguindanao town rations veggies farmed by local women

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — The municipal government of Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao has bought vegetables produced by local farmers for distribution as food rations to residents amid the community quarantine to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the area.

Datu Anggal Midtimbang Mayor MaryJoy Esthephanie Midtimbang said the local government’s vegetable procurement is helping a group of local women generate income.

Vegetables produced by a women’s group in Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao are bought by the local government for distribution to residents amid the COVID-19 community quarantine. Photo courtesy of Datu Anggal Midtimbang LGU

The local women were organized by the municipal government to go into community vegetable gardening months before the COVID-19 pandemic became a household name.

Midtimbang said she never thought that the women’s gardening livelihood project “would generate a huge impact in this time of crisis.”

“The inclusion of vegetables in the ration is a healthy way to boost the immune system of the people under community quarantine while at the same time giving income to the farmers in this time of lull economic activities,” she said.

Among the vegetable harvested for distribution were squash, eggplant, okra, onion leaves, camote leaves, tomatoes, and alugbate, among others.

They were packed equally and included in the food rations consisting of rice and assorted grocery items, the mayor said.

Midtimbang said that due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the local government realized that most Maguindanao towns have been dependent on the markets in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat province for supplies.

According to Midtimbang, they are done with the second rationing of vegetables and waiting for the next round of harvest for distribution again to their constituents.

She hopes to replicate the vegetable gardening project of the women’s group in Barangay Buluan to every household in the locality.

Datu Anggal Midtimbang town has seven barangays with around 25,000 residents based on the 2015 national census. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)