By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY – Several governors in Mindanao have already started implementing the Self-Sustaining Food Security Strategy (SSFSS) recommended by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) by linking up with one another to ensure stable food supply for their constituents.
This was bared by MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in a statement released on Thursday.
Piñol said Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, who earlier said his province would be needing additional rice supply, was provided with the information that the neighboring province of Davao de Oro under Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy may have excess production.
He said North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco was also ready to implement the SSFSS in her province which would include the distribution of upland rice seeds to complement the lowland areas production.
Piñol said under Catamco’s SSFSS implementation, the provincial government will also distribute vegetable seeds and backyard chicken breeders to encourage farmers who are confined to their farms to produce more food.
He said the governor told him, farmers who produce chicken, hogs, eggs and vegetables may also be bought by the local government units (LGU) for distribution to residents as food assistance.
He said Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, on the other hand, bared to him that his province has sufficient food supply, especially Cassava which is a staple food for the Tausug’s.
“MinDA is helping Tawi- Tawi Governor Ysmael Sali transport some 2,000 metric tons of rice from Iloilo Province to Bongao,” Piñol said,
He said that under SSFSS, the LGU chief executives will be asked to undertake the following actions like design and implement a municipal or provincial food security action plan, conduct an inventory and quantify existing supplies of basic food commodities like rice, eggs, poultry, meat and fruits like banana, and identify individuals or groups which could undertake sustained food production.
Also MinDA, encourages families, especially those confined to their farms, to undertake simple food production activities like vegetable growing and backyard chicken raising by distributing seeds and breeding materials for chicken and utilize locally produced food commodities like fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, rice, pork, meat for calamity assistance.
This leads to creating a localized market for farmers’ and fishermen’s produce whose distribution is impaired by the existing lockdowns.
It also tasked to identify neighboring LGUs which would have excess production of any food commodity and forge an alliance of two or more LGUs to establish a symbiotic food supply relationship and establish a marketing and distribution system which would ensure available food supply for the families within the community while at the same time, mindful of the quarantine protocols enforced.
“The lockdowns implemented by the different local government units due to the Covid-19 pandemic could also affect food supply distribution.” he said.
The SSFSS is expected to ensure sufficient food production and sound distribution method in the different areas in Mindanao.
MinDA crafted the SSFSS earlier this week in the face of the threat that uncoordinated food supply distribution in Mindanao could create artificial shortages.