THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture-Davao (DA-11) office is encouraging an indigenous people (IP) community in an upland area of Compostela town to consider agricultural ventures with investors to maximize the potential income from their ancestral land. In a statement, DA-11 said Regional Executive Director Ricardo M. Onate, Jr., with a team of agriculturists, met last week with Matigsalog IP officials headed by their chieftain, Datu Sirano Mambay-an, and Benito Baylonsanon, chairman of the Kauswagan Side 4 Farmers Association to discuss possible crops for development and the benefits of partnering with agribusiness corporations, citing additional income from profit-sharing, lease payments, and employment opportunities. Mr. Oñate assured the IP leaders that “inclusive agribusiness” is possible with the monitoring and support of the government. “The government should be there to help and ensure that IP communities will be accorded with a just and equitable share in the development of their areas,” he said. Among the identified potential crops are different banana varieties, cassave, cacao, robusta coffee, black pepper, fruit trees, and upland rice. The DA-11 also conducted soil analysis in the area, located about 500 meters above sea level.