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PIA Press Release
2010/02/17

Mindanao boasts own Bayan-Anihan project

Davao City (17 February) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Gawad Kalinga (GK) have blazed another trail in their innovative Bayan-Anihan project in Mindanao with the launching of their joint vegetable growing venture in a low-cost housing project here.

During the formal launching of the local Bayan-Anihan at GK Pueblo Antonio Village in Sitio Habana in Toril District brought to 177 sites of backyard vegetable growing project all over the country. Each site has 30 family-beneficiaries.

As initially targeted by DA, GK and their other project partners, Bayan-Anihan aims to put up such hunger mitigation projects in 500 sites nationwide, of which 312 will be in Luzon, another 92 in the Visayas and 96 more in Mindanao.

Bayan-Anihan, which aims to fight hunger by empowering families to produce food for their own consumption, has evolved into a national movement as it spreads to the different parts of the Philippines under the supervision of GK and the DA, through its Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA)—High Value Commercial Crops (HVCC) program.

Present during the formal launch were Mike Dimagiba, executive director of the Bayan-Anihan Foundation; Jose Luis Oquiñena, who is GK executive director; Rene Rafael Espino, the director of the GMA-HVCC program; Alberto Pitugo, the Kapitbahayan (KB) president in GK Pueblo Antonio; and Nerissa Jala, a KB officer in GK Pueblo Antonio.

The guests and participants were welcomed by Councilor Conde Baluran of Davao City.

Yesterday's program in Toril was highlighted by the simultaneous ceremonial planting of the guests and the GK Pueblo Antonio residents.

Of the 96 targeted GK sites in Mindanao, 20 sites are in Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), 40 in Northern Mindanao (Region X), 10 in Davao Region (Region XI), 16 in SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato-Cotabato- Sultan Kudarat-Sarranggani -General Santos) (Region XII) and 10 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Since the Bayan Anihan (BA) Mindanao Summit last Sept. 2 at Marco Polo Hotel here, the community training for program participants have already been completed in 71 sites and other beneficiaries have already planted their vegetables in 29 sites.

Through the GMA-HVCC program, the DA has provided the agricultural inputs amounting to at least P8 million while the GK, together with state universities and colleges (SUC) partners, conducted the community trainings.

Inputs include vegetable seeds, seedling trays, organic fertilizers, weighing scales, fruit trees and medicinal/culinary plants.

During the project's launching in Luzon on March 28, 2009, DA Secretary Arthur Yap said that the cause of feeding the hungry through higher crop yields and widespread food distribution should be the concern not only of Government but also of all other sectors.

These include local government units, nongovernment organizations, people's organizations, civil society, business groups and other associations that "believe that access to food and freedom from hunger are basic, inalienable rights," he said.

"These sectors should combine their forces and transform it into a national movement that would work towards "a hunger-free Philippines," he said.

Yap also said that the "Bayan-Anihan" recognizes the "fundamental premise that Government alone, cannot be the problem solver but is merely the facilitator and catalyst, in bringing Filipinos face to face with hunger and providing them the support so that ultimately, it is they who will address the injustice of hunger."

"This is my commitment: To help our local communities break free from hunger…and equally important, to capacitate them beyond basic subsistence to dream big dreams, and afford them the means to bring these dreams to reality," Yap said. (DA Press Office) [top]

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