P334-M rural dev’t projects to benefit Mindanao IPs, ARBs

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DAVAO CITY — In support of the country’s rural development program, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) turned over Wednesday PHP334 million worth of projects to Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) and indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao.

In a statement released Wednesday, DAR said the projects consisted of solar dryers, farm-to-market roads (FMR), bridges, communal irrigations, potable water systems, as well as equipment for the production of agricultural commodities such as rubber, coffee, abaca, pili, rice, and corn.

DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones said the projects will be implemented in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, South, and North Cotabato.

Castriciones said he expects a big economic turnaround for farm communities in Mindanao “now that the infrastructure projects are completed and the food and crop production are on-going.”

“These projects are significant in achieving progress in rural communities. These were implemented not only to make life easier for our farmers but also to sustain the development of their communities,” Castriciones added.

The DAR chief said that among those who will benefit from the projects are the IPs, specifically, the Blaans, Mansakas, and Mandayas, who were given land titles under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

DAR said the IP beneficiaries reside in settlements established by the government in the municipalities of Matanao and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur (for the Blaans) and in Maragusan and New Bataan in Compostela Valley (for the Mansakas and Mandayas). -PNA

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