CITY OF COTABATO: Bangsamoro MP Amir Mawallil has proposed creating more incentives for seaweed farmers by first improving their production and productivity.
Mawallil said in a new bill he proposed there would be seaweed farming extension services, skills development, provision of production inputs, equipment, facilities and services. infrastructure for production and post-production activities.
He explained that one of the problems preventing farmers from scaling up seaweed farming was lack of capital and government support, leading to low socioeconomic status.
In the Philippines, BARMM is the largest producer of seaweed, with a significant share of 46.5 percent of total aquaculture production. It is also the second largest export product, contributing 33.33% of total fisheries production in 2020.
For coastal villagers, especially in the Bangsamoro
Region, the cultivation of seaweed is the main means of subsistence.
House Bill 196 has been proposed to institutionalize the Seaweed Farming Development Program (SFDP) which aims to reduce wealth inequality in the seaweed value chain and create shared value between private companies and farmers. local communities in the region.
The SFDP will use science-based technology in promoting and developing the seaweed farming industry at BARMM. It will be integrated and made consistent with the plans, programs, activities and projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform.
Forms of assistance to be provided under the program include improving production and productivity; improving farmers’ access to finance in the form of credit; providing access to improved technologies through research; and provision of business support and development services.
The measure will also provide business support and development services, notably in the areas of market access, marketing and networking.
This will support the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the region through sustainable rural development, access to markets, public-private collaboration and microfinance,” said Mawalil.
The proposed bill will also include measures to strengthen the entrepreneurial and decision-making skills of seaweed producers by helping them develop a trade agreement to access markets and fair prices.
If legislation is passed, a Seaweed Producers Development Council will be established to oversee the proper implementation of the program through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy, the Ministry of Science and Technology. , the Ministry of Commerce, Investments and Tourism and the Ministry of Interior and Local Government.