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PIA Press Release

Moro traders ready for Islamic food market

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (18 October) -- Impoverished Moro communities in Mindanao are now ready to participate in the international Islamic food market.

This was after representatives of foreign donor outfits, clerics and political leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) launched the other day the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board Inc. (MMHCBI), which is the last requisite for the entry of Moro entrepreneurs into the international Islamic food business.

ARMMís trade secretary Ishak Mastura said the certification board, composed of clerics, medical practitioners, engineers and veterinarians, will oversee the regulation of companies permitted to export livestock and poultry products to Islamic markets the Middle East and Europe.

The launching of the board was assisted by the Canadian-funded ARMM Local Government Support Program and ARMM Gov. Datu Zaldy Ampatuan.

Mastura said Muslim entrepreneurs engaged in food and livestock production failed miserably in the past to penetrate the Islamic markets in the Middle East due to the absence of a cross-section outfit that would certify that their products are halal, or palatable to Muslims.

"Now we have an entity that can certify that what we export were processed according to prescribed Islamic rules," Mastura said.

Mastura said among those present in the launching of the halal certification board, held at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City, were ARMM agriculture secretary Hadji Sajid Druz Ali, Ibrahim Paglas of the Paglas Corp. in Maguindanao, Robert Fitchett, of the British Embassy in Manila, and Canadian Ambassador Peter Sutherland.

Iranian Ambassador Jalal Kalantari, during an earlier visit to Cotabato City, said Iran is ready to accommodate in its markets certified halal livestock and poultry products from ARMM. (PIA) [top]

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