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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will recognize and give awards to outstanding Bangsamoro vegetable farmers and their corporate partners during the 2nd Mindanao Vegetable Derby in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the second week of November in Maguindanao.

The awarding ceremonies will be conducted during the harvest period of high value vegetables which the farmers and their corporate partners are planting in a demonstration area in Barangay Layog, Pagalungan town.

At the end of the Derby, Outstanding Farmers will be cited and given awards, while Companies whose seeds performed well during the Derby will also be given citations.

Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod volunteered to host the BARMM Vegetable Derby, saying the farmers in his town needed the correct farming technology to fully utilize the potentials of their rich soil.

MinDA assisted the site establishment from July 15 to August 15 for the planting and growing of vegetables while training and mentoring of vegetable farmers were slated from August 23 to October 30.

The program aims to improve the quality of vegetables and productivity of farmers and the high-value crop area of Mindanao, particularly in the BARMM.

In the coming weeks, a series of mentoring between the technicians of seed companies and vegetable farmers of Pagalungan on proper techniques in pest management, nutrient management, and other protocols in maintaining the growth of vegetables and ensuring a bountiful harvest will be conducted while training on vegetable processing, value-adding, and marketing, as well as collectivization of vegetable farmers into cooperative will also be undertaken, MinDA team leaders Jun Buhat and Silvester Sales reported.

Four seed companies, Kaneko, Eastwest, Seedworks, and Condor, with the local government of Pagalungan and MinDA, will mentor vegetable farmers on proper land preparation and transplanting of vegetable seedlings.

Before this, seed companies mentored the vegetable farmers on new techniques in growing vegetable seedlings, maintaining the seedlings, and preparing them for transplanting in the field.

A farmer's field day, wherein farmers from neighboring municipalities, would also be invited to showcase the farm and technology in the first week of November, the week before the actual vegetable festival.

The Mindanao Vegetable aims to address poverty, improve productivity, and initiate the economic recovery of Mindanao.

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