By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
COTABATO CITY: In preparation for the upcoming 34th Coconut Week annual celebration, the Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT) collaborated with Department of Agriculture – Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) as a way of boosting the coconut industry in the region.
BARMM’s public information bureau announced that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on Thursday by the said parties to prepare for the celebration dubbed ‘Synergy on Regional Coconut Days: Coco Bazaar + Regional Coconut Industry Stakeholders Forum + MAFARlengke + Business-to-Business Matching/Business Counseling’.
The annual celebration, which will be held on August 25 to 27 at the MAFAR compound here in this city, aims to showcase the impact of the coconut industry in the lives of about 25 million Filipinos and on the Philippine economy. This will also emphasize the importance of coconut for the BARMM region.
On the day of the event, PCA regional and provincial offices will be conducting various activities such as setting up of Coco-Bazaar and holding a coconut Stakeholders Forum.
It will also showcase exhibits which will be participated by 11-coconut based organizations, 15 MAFARlengke Exhibitors and 3 institutional booths of DA-PCA, MAFAR and MTIT.
The three-day celebration is expected to cater at least 300 participants.
PCA Regional Manager Marina B. Wahab shared that “the PCA thought of partnering with BARMM’s MAFAR and MTIT because coconut is significant to the lives of every Filipinos.”
“Magmula ngayon hindi na farmers ang tawag sa kanila [kundi] ‘cocopreneurs’ para ang tingin nila sa pagniniyog ay isang negosyo,” Wahab said.
MAFAR-BARMM Minister Mohammad Yacob said the signing of MOU implies the sustained partnership with PCA in BARMM and it is going to be one of the flagship programs of the ministry.
“The MAFAR-BARMM is committed to support and facilitate the planting of coconut in the region and island provinces,” Yacob said.
Further, MTIT Minister Abu Amri Taddik also cited the importance of ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program of the government which is needed to further incentivize and boost the agriculture sector amidst the ongoing global pandemic.
“It is extremely important to provide assistance to our coconut farmers since its significantly beneficial not only to our region but in also in the national economy,” Taddik said. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL