By Ali G. Macabalang
On the verge of exemplifying initial success in solar-powered irrigation and water works system program, Lanao del Sur has manifested interest in piloting a cattle production venture – another economic-enhancing project of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) – for the Bangsamoro autonomous region, officials said.
Lanao del Sur officials led by siblings Governor Mamintal “Bombit” and Congressman Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong visited on Thursday, Feb. 11 a Cattle Fattening Facility in Polomolok, South Cotabato for familiarization, according to MinDA Chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol, who accompanied them.
The Adiongs led their provincial delegation to the “Mindanao Speaks Up” forum in Davao City hosted by MinDA on Feb. 10 for local government units and other stakeholders in the island region to sound off issues and concerns on perceived bottlenecks in their respective developments endeavors.
“Fresh from (participation in) the Davao forum, we proceeded to Polomolok and toured the cattle fattening farm with Governor Adiong and his delegation to know the rudiments of livestock production,” Piñol said in a video clip.
The farm is managed MinDA livestock consultant Arnel Corpuz, who briefed the visiting team on the cattle fattening potentials for food security and business in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
In the video footage, Gov. Adiong said the venture is much suitable in his province, especially its ideal climate and vast pasture lands.
Piñol said he will meet with Gov. Adiong and officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines to start negotiations for opening a 100-head cattle fattening facility in Wao town, Lanao Sur, one of five BARMM component provinces.
Livestock production is the second MinDA program to be piloted by Lanao del Sur. The first is the BBP-funded solar-powered irrigation and waterworks system launched in Taraka town last Jan. 18, according to MinDA public affairs and communications department chief Dr. Adrian Tamayo.
MinDA’s livestock production will focus on hog production in predominantly Christian areas in Mindanao to address also the issue of African Swine Flu (ASF) plaguing some parts of Luzon and Visayas, Tamayo said.
Cattle and hog raising ventures could ensure self-sufficiency on beef and pork for Mindanao’s 25.5 million people, Pinol said, adding the excess production will be shared with other consumers in Visayas and Luzon.
“With an estimated gestation period of 18 months, the Cattle Program in the Bangsamoro Provinces is expected to start producing beef initially for their own consumers,” he said.
The Hog Production Program, on the other hand, is expected to start production in Christian places after two years, he said.
Initially, MinDA eyed Davao del Norte and North Cotabato as prospective participants in the hog raising program., he added. AGM