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DA to prioritize IPs in corn expansion program


By Armando Fenequito

DAVAO CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will prioritize the Indigenous People (IP) community for the expansion of corn in Mindanao.

This was bared by DA 11 regional director Ricardo Onate in a sideline interview during the Grand Farmers’ Fiesta on Friday.

Onate said the department is prioritizing the IP as part of President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 or the Whole of the Nation Approach.

He said the national office is asking all its regional offices in Mindanao to find land for the 100, 000 hectares of corn plantation.

“So, maghahanap kami ano bang pwede. Saan kami lalapit, doon kami sa CADT area [Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title] (We are now looking for land. Where can we find it, we will go to the CADT area),” he said.

He said there will be the livelihood to be given to the IP community for them not to join communist rebels in the hinterlands.

“We’re not just addressing the livelihood program, this is hitting two birds with one stone, we can also address the issue of peace and order,” he said.

DA is now coordinating with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) for the identification of CADT areas in the region.

“We are closely coordinating with the NCIP so that if we go to the CADT areas, there will be no problem with the documents,” he said.

Onate also said corn expansion will also address the possible shortage of corn in the country.

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