081020 economy

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will focus its efforts on the region's agriculture and fisheries sectors over the next five years as it aims to trigger immediate recovery following the economic slowdown because of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Projects which will be pushed, especially those funded by the European Union's Grant Fund for Rise Mindanao Program, are those which will address poverty, improve productivity and trigger economic recovery.

MinDA's interventions will be mainly on value-adding on its major products to create more job opportunities and increase producers' earnings.

Mindanao's agriculture and fisheries sector was the bright spot in the region's economy as it showed resilience by posting a positive growth, even as the industry and services sectors were badly battered by the COVID 19 Pandemic.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that in the 2nd Quarter, Mindanao Agriculture continued to grow by 0.1 percent while industry and services sectors contracted by 6.9 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.

Despite a 16.5 percent drop, the Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter this year, the worst since 1981, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has projected that Mindanao can withstand the current challenges.

“While major growth drivers succumbed to Covid-19 pandemic, agricultural sector output for domestic consumption and exports of top Mindanao agricultural products stood strong against the insane waves of adversity, showing Mindanao’s resiliency,” MinDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro said.

“Regardless of the situation we are confronted with, calamities, disasters, conflict, pandemic, and the likes, we all need food to survive. So if the focus is given to improving Mindanao's agri sector, which is an inherent strength, towards self-sufficiency, food security, and sustainability, then we become more resilient and can stand better chances of overcoming internal or external shocks and recover faster”.

He added that the agriculture value chain cuts across sectors as hotels and malls sell agri-products, some construction activities are related to agri-facilities, logistics flow contain agri products, raw or processed, domestic or for export.

Mindanao supplies over 40 percent of the country's food requirements and contributes more than 30 percent to the national food trade.

The Mindanao Peace and Development Rise Program (MINPAD-Rise) under the European Union Fund Grant amounting to PHP 2.1-Billion, MinDA will implement and manage integrated value chain and rural development projects across Mindanao regions to address poverty, increase productivity, and immediately restart the Mindanao economy.

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