A multi-year program boosting agricultural output in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or BARMM took effect Wednesday with the formal signing of the support program between the Philippines and the European Union or EU.
EU Ambassador Luc Véron and Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez launched both the Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise Program or BAEP and the National Copernicus Capacity Support Action Program for the Philippines (CopPhil).
BAEP is a new five-year program boosting local agricultural production and improve the investment climate in the BARMM, while the CopPhil is a three-year program reducing vulnerability from natural disaster.
The financing agreements will address the country’s most pressing needs: disaster preparedness and poverty reduction and the cycle of vulnerability linking the two.
Persistent climate and health crises and their long-term effects make the assistance more relevant than ever, the two officials said.
Both programs will begin this year and require the closely working with the partners of the involved governmental bodies.
Although the programs work in separate areas, they both contribute to the EU and the country’s commitment to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to support peace, development and prosperity, reduce inequality and fight climate change.
“Understanding how our planet works and in particular how climate change affects it, is vital for sustainable economic growth and food security. Partnerships with an innovative public sector, a competitive business sector, and civil society are critical to success in these areas. In line with the principles of the European Green Deal, the Copernicus and Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise programs will enhance climate change resilience in the Philippines while strengthening key productive sectors including agriculture and ecosystem management,” EU Ambassador Luc Véron.
“This assistance from the European Union will support the Duterte administration’s already heightened efforts to boost farm productivity and achieve inclusive growth in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and further strengthen the country’s climate resilience in the face of global warming,” said Secretary Dominguez.
The BAEP is a € 20 million (P1.14 billion in local currency) program for five years and forms part of the broader EU objective of a peaceful, cohesive, secure and inclusively developed Bangsamoro.
The program also aims to improve the quality and diversity of local agricultural production to respond better to the needs of the market and support the transitional administration and elaborate a strategy to develop and attract investments in agri-business.
On the production side, BAEP will work with local farmers and cooperatives to adopt more integrated farming systems using a value chain approach, thus improving their capacities to increase quantity, quality and consistency of produce throughout the year.
On the commercialization side, the BAEP will support the establishment of product standard quality systems for halal and sea-aqua products.