Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. (MMDC) has partnered with the Philippine Council for Entrepreneurship (PCE)-Go Negosyo to implement an agriculture-based sustainable livelihood program that will benefit internally displaced persons (IDPs) in war-torn Marawi.
Dubbed Go Negosyo Kapatid for Agri Model Farm, the program launched on April 5 is part of President Duterte’s multifaceted flagship community project under Task Force Bangon Marawi.
DSWD Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan and Bangon Marawi Assistant Secretary Felix Castro led government officials who participated in the program launching in Barangay Sagonsongan where more than 10,000 IDPs are resettled.
“We at Marcventures are honored to be part of this program,” Isidro C. Alcantara Jr., Marcventures Holdings Inc. president and MMDC vice chairman said in a statement.
“Mindanao is close to our hearts as our Carrascal Nickel Project is in Surigao del Sur, that is why we consider this island group part of our larger host community,” Alcantara added.
“We thank Mr. Joey Concepcion, the presidential consultant for entrepreneurship, for inviting us to be part of this undertaking.”
The Agri Model Farm will be implemented over a three-month period within which some 300 Sagonsongan resettlement farmers will go through weekly lectures and hands-on training under a seasoned agri-technician, said Ana Margarita Hontiveros, Go Negosyo Adviser for Agripreneurship and Programs Head for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“The farmers are expected to implement daily in the field what they have learned,” Hontiveros explained. “At the end of the three-month training, the graduates will celebrate a Harvest Festival.”
The Agri Model Farm is aligned with Marcventures’s social-development approach which is anchored on the principle of sustainability.
“We strive to ensure that mining will provide livelihood not only during the life of mine but, more importantly, long after mining has ceased,” Alcantara added.
Marcventures said sustainable livelihood projects such as the Agri Model Farm should be given priority in community development programs. “We also want to learn from this program and apply this template in Surigao del Sur and in other areas where we will be allowed to operate.”
The Sagonsongan Agri Model Farm is the third farm site under the program. The first two farms have been successful; participants have established farmers’ associations and have forged agreementswith a private company for the purchase of their produce.