By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY -The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has started the livelihood and training in the town of Taraka, Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, following the announcement that the town was chosen to be the model for rural development.
In a statement on Tuesday, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that the efforts of building a model town in the midst of conflict area was an example he hoped other towns in the province would replicate.
“The livelihood and capability training is the first step taken by MinDa in developing Taraka into a model for rural development in Lanao del Sur,” he said.
Piñol said Taraka is a town in Lanao del Sur with 30,000 people, with 66.86 percent poverty incidence.
The Secretary also revealed the launch of the informal school for farmers on March 21 in support to the livelihood activities of the Taraka people.
“On March 21, MinDA and its private sector partners will launch the Maranao New Hope Agricultural Learning Center (MAHAL Center) which will serve as the training center for the farmers of Lanao del Sur”, Piñol said.
Other activities lined-up for the March 21 include the signing of P100-million loan agreement between the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Taraka government for the Solar-Powered Irrigation and Water System, the turn-over of 22 heads of dairy goats, turn-over of 4,300 ready-to-lay young hens for egg production in every barangay.
He said there will also be a turn-over of fish nets and Tilapia fingerlings for the fish case farming in Lake Lanao and Sorghum seeds for 200-hectares farm.
Piñol said the signing of marketing agreement with the PILMICO Feeds Corp will also be facilitated to ensure market of the livelihood produce.
He said MinDA will also assist the LGU in putting up its economic enterprise to ensure of effective management of the solar-powered project and ensure repayment of the loan.
“The development of the Economic Enterprise Office of Taraka is also included. The office will manage the Solar-Powered Water and Irrigation project to ensure repayment of the loan”, Piñol said.
Piñol said the Solar-Powered Irrigation and Water System is expected to irrigate 2,000 hectares of rice farms and generate an income of P300-M for the farmers of the town, alongside the livelihood opportunities for the people of Taraka.