The government of Japan through its Embassy in Manila and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has launched the PHP2.12-billion HARVEST project for Mindanao farmers through the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The launching ceremony was held on August 30, 2018 in Cotabato City. It was attended by Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Tetsuharu Mori, JICA Senior Representative Yo Ebisawa, Land Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Alex Buenaventura, ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia, Maguindanao Provincial Administrator Abdulrakman Asim, and Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Cotabato City Director Wendell Orbeso.
HARVEST stands for Harnessing Agribusiness opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation.
“The HARVEST Project is a five-year financial assistance program executed through the Land Bank of the Philippines, targeting small and medium enterprises as well as cooperatives in the Bangsamoro and their surrounding areas in Mindanao to support agribusiness and agribusiness-related investments,” the Japanese Embassy in Manila said.
Mori highlighted that the Bangsamoro region has fertile land highly suitable for agriculture and has a great potential for further agriculture development.
He added that the HARVEST project will reach out to the entire conflict-affected areas and their surrounding areas. In addition to providing financial support for farmers and fishermen, the HARVEST will support capacity building and institutional development.