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MinDA launches program to manage local food surpluses

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DAVAO CITY — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has launched a program to directly connect local government units (LGUs) in the southern islands with suppliers of agricultural produce, with the aim of identifying local surpluses and transferring them to LGUs in need.

Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, MinDA chair, said despite national policies in place to ensure the continued deliveries of food, community quarantine restrictions adopted by LGUs could hamper distribution.

“The lockdowns implemented by the local government units due to COVID-19 could also affect food distribution,” Mr. Piñol said in a statement last week.

MinDA’s Self-Sustaining Food Security Strategy (SSFSS) calls for each LGU in Mindanao to inventory the current supply of basic food items, identify food producers, and forge alliances with other LGUs.

Mr. Piñol said that Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro were among the first two LGUs to participate in the SSFSS, and determined that the latter has excess rice inventory which the former can absorb.

The goal, MinDA said, is to create a common network that can be tapped beyond the current COVID-19 public health crisis for other disaster situations.

Governor Nancy A. Catamco of Cotabato, the hardest-hit province during last year’s series of earthquakes in Mindanao, said the province plans to distribute vegetable seed and livestock to help meet local demand initially.

“We don’t know how long this problem will last, that is why we have to be prepared,” the governor said. — Carmelito Q. Francisco





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