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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region will implement the Mindanao Development Authority-initiated Livestock Development Program with all of its five provinces as the pilot areas of Cattle Fattening Facilities.

These provinces are expected to produce the first banner product of the region, Bangsamoro Halal Beef, which is expected to be launched before the end of the year.

Bangsamoro Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) Mohammad Yacob sought MinDA's technical assistance in implementing the program in the Autonomous Region during the signing of the Memorandum of Technical Cooperation between the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) on Thursday, March 18 in Davao City.

The signing of the MinDA-MAFAR-BDA memorandum of technical cooperation was witnessed by Australian Ambassador to the Phiippines Steven Robinson who assured the BARMM officials of his country's support for the Bangsamoro Cattle Development Program.

Yacob and BDA Chairman Mangontawar Macacuna said cattle production in the region is a priority project because the region is a huge consumer of beef, especially during the annual Qurban, the ritual sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid al-Adha.

For this year's Qurban, over 1,000 heads of cattle are expected to be slaughtered and the meat shared with Muslim communities all over the region.

Muslims also mark special family and community occasions by slaughtering cattle or goats.

By establishing Cattle Fattening Facilities in each of the five provinces of the BARMM, the beef requirements of the local population would be served, Yacob said.

The project designed by MinDA will also create allied activities like corn and sorghum production, silage-making and leather making.

For the five pilot Cattle Feedlot Facilities, an estimated 5,000 heads of Cows and steers will be imported from Australia to be fattened and slaughtered after 100 days.

Initially, the first feedlot will be established near the Triple A Halal Abattoir built by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Cotabato City.

Before the end of the year, the Bangsamoro Cattle Program will introduce the Bangsamoro Halal Beef, produced from cattle fattened and slaughtered in the region, which will be initially marketed locally.

The program will later target the huge Halal Market in the BIMP-EAGA area and later Muslim countries in the Middle East.

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