Former MILF camp to be converted into P8-B banana farm

Published January 29, 2019, 4:26 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Ali G. Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Camp Abubakar Assidique, the former main camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) practically covering entire Barira town in Maguindanao and parts of adjacent towns, will become a major banana plantation soon, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

(Photo derived from Sec. Piñol’s Facebook post / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Photo derived from Sec. Piñol’s Facebook post / MANILA BULLETIN)

Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is dispatching a team of soil experts, solar irrigation engineers, and digital technology experts to conduct preliminary steps needed in converting some 7,000-hectare lands within the erstwhile MILF camp with P8-billion investment.

French-Russian businessman Robert Gaspar of the TechIron Resources and Switzerland-based Investment Group signed the enabling memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA), a group of farmer-residents and Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu last January 24, Piñol said.

Piñol disclosed the DA technical team will also help the resident farmers to prepare their land, adding that the group of investors was very interested on the immediate realization of the venture.

“The IT team, led by a Bangsamoro computer expert, will use satellite- and drone-generated data and images to produce a digital map of the [whole area],” he said.

Earlier, Mangudadatu told the Manila Bulletin that the group of foreign investors, especially Gaspar, was “very confident” of the viability of Cavendish banana plantation in lands straddled by the former MILF along Barina, Buldon and Matanog towns in the first district of Maguindanao.

He said Gaspar formed part of the group of investors in the long-booming Cavendish banana farm covering several thousands of hectares in the municipalities of Buluan, Datu Paglas and adjacent towns in Maguindanao’s second district.

“The group of Gaspar is supportive of the provincial government’s desire to see former MILF combatants becoming productive through farming,” Mangudadatu said.

He said the conversion of Camp Abubakar into a modern plantation “has become more viable” after the ratification of R.A. 11054, which signaled the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2088399,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2849645,2849656,2849651,2849659,2849648,2849643]