THE Regional Board of Investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-ARMM) recently approved the P290-million investment application for the Cavendish banana plantation project in Barangay Kauran, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
Ishak Mastura, RBOI-ARMM chairman and managing head, said that for the first time in RBOI’s history the project was initiated by 100-percent Filipino investors in the locality who managed to link with the international banana market particularly Bahrain and other Middle East countries.
He said the new project of Ekasalam AgriVentures Corp. is a confirmation that Maguindanao is still the top investment hub of ARMM in terms of agriculture-related projects.
“Last year, the agency registered non-agri projects but this time, the ARMM is back to agricultural investments based on the applications submitted to RBOI. Most of the investments now in the pipeline are agri-based,” Matsura said.
Ekasalam will be granted income tax holidays (ITH) for six years as well as other fiscal incentives the government provides at the start of its commercial operations.
The project is expected to generate 265 local jobs in the town.
Meanwhile, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the Ekasalam project is a break from the norm where most of investors in the region come from other areas.
“The banana fruit is very important to Filipinos not only because of its nutritive value but it is also an income earner, job generator, and top export product. On this note, registration of the project strengthens the initiative of putting ARMM on the map as fourth top banana producer in Mindanao and a key player in the country’s banana industry,” Hataman said.