Under the memorandum of undertaking (MoU) to help Marawi City’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), coffee production in Lanao del Sur will be piloted to support host communities and IDPs. Coffee demo farms and accompanying monitoring services will be instilled in the towns of Marantao and Ditsaan Ramain with plans to open another one in Iligan City. Twenty farmers in each demo farm (at least one hectare) will be accommodated.
Lanao del Sur’s high-elevation and year round rainfall makes it an ideal setting for demo farms. According to Lanao Del Sur governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, economic recovery is not far-fetched even if the province is one of the poorest in the country—and this dismal state is due to years of violent and armed conflict, and political and cultural dispute.
“The project will establish three learning farms for coffee intercropped with vegetables in Iligan City, Marantao, and Ditsaan Ramain. Proposed areas are strategically located along the farm-to-market road and will be assessed in terms of proximity to nearby markets, source of water, and availability of other resources. High-demand crops will be planted, including eggplant, bitter gourd, tomato, hot pepper, sweet pepper, cucumber, yard long bean, and watermelon,” says Dr. Karina Nerseyan of the Marawi Response Project.
Despite the depressing conditions brought about by years of war and struggle, Lanao del Sur still has the capacity to be Mindanao’s agricultural center. Through agricultural support programs and personnel as well as technological and logistical resources, the hopelessness the Marawi siege has implanted in the Meranaos can still be replaced with growth, progress and the sought-after peace.
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