THE Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Kenji Terada, together with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Representative Yuko Tanaka, Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza, Banisilan Mayor Jesus Alisasis, and around 300 farmer-beneficiaries, led the turnover ceremony of the Banisilan Rubber Production, Processing and Marketing Enterprise under The Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD), in the Municipality of Banisilan, North Cotabato Province on August 3.
The facilities were part of a project under MinSAAD, which was funded through Japan’s Official Development Assistance program for 6.063 billion yen (P2.64 billion).
The Banisilan Rubber Production, Processing and Marketing Enterprise aims to expand the local rubber production area to 2,200 ha and produce 696 metric tons rubber crumb worth about P36.9 million annually.
MinSAAD is part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), and aims to improve farm efficiency, mobility of farm products and commercial goods, and enhance the quality of life of farmers. In previous years, farmers focused on corn for the majority of harvests in these areas. Through this program, the rubber facilities will benefit and empower the farmers and their families with increased income from rubber production, generate livelihood opportunities as well as improve the farmers’ income and economic status in Banisilan and the surrounding municipalities.