The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) signed an agreement to implement a P6.6-billion project that seeks to boost farm productivity of indigenous peoples (IP) in Mindanao.
The DA and NCIP signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to implement the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP) to resolve persistent poverty among IPs.
The project specifically aims to enhance agricultural productivity and improve access to market and services for farmers and fisherfolk in selected ancestral domains in the region.
It has a total cost of P6.6 billion, wherein P5.3 billion will be coming from a World Bank loan financing scheme.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said, “MIADP is designed to build the capabilities of local governments to increase the farm productivity and business opportunities of 120,000 indigenous farmers and fisherfolk in six regions across Mindanao.”
“This is a project that corrects a long history of neglect on the part of our government and society,” he added.
For his part, NCIP chairperson Allen Capuyan also underscored the importance of the indigenous community in the southern Philippine region.
“The indigenous community is a very significant sector in Mindanao. Almost one half of the Mindanao land area is ancestral domains and also half of the Mindanao population is IP,” he said.
“I am very glad that the MOA signing will formalize everything so that the communities in Mindanao will become resilient, relevant and responsive,” Capuyan added.
Under the agreement, DA will lead the planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and other relevant activities.
It will also provide technical support and assistance and ensure that all activities will be in accordance with environmental and social safeguards.
Moreover, NCIP shall select and endorse IPs and Indigenous Cultural Communities and facilitate processes related to the conduct of the program, including the gathering of necessary data such as Ancestral Domain Title, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim, Certificate of Ancestral Land Title, and other pertinent documents.
The MIADP has a social preparation component that will capacitate IP organizations during the first year of implementation.
It is expected to commence by August this year and will run until 2028.
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