The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has identified some 22 “fish centers” equipped with ice-makers, cold storage and processing facilities located in almost every coastal province of Mindanao for funding under the European Union’s Mindanao Peace and Development Program (MINPAD) to be implemented this year.
In a statement on Sunday, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the fish centers, estimated to cost about PHP200 million, will be interconnected through a digital platform that will monitor daily catch and establish market linkage.
He added that the facilities are expected to boost fisheries and aquaculture productivity in Mindanao while upgrading the fisheries sector to make it compliant to international standards against unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) and ensure traceability.
“During the final planning workshop of MinDA on Friday, the Mindanao Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MINFAD) was identified as one of the critical programs which could address poverty in Mindanao, increase productivity and trigger the region’s economic recovery post-Covid 19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” Piñol said.
Apart from the fisheries support, MinDA has also identified as priority commodities for funding support coconut, rubber, corn, banana, organic rice, poultry and small ruminants, vegetables, and high-value crops.
“Interventions in these commodities will be guided by the Complete Value Chain Policy advocated by MinDA for the Agriculture and Fisheries sectors in Mindanao. Regions identified for Area-Based Programs are Zamboanga, Bangsamoro, and Caraga while the Mindanao Water Supply Program is also included as a special program,” he added.
The funding for the MINPAD Projects will come from the PHP2.1-billion EU grant fund which was signed earlier between the EU Delegation in the Philippines and the Philippine government through the Department of Finance.
Piñol added that MinDA targets the implementation of the said projects to start late this year. (PNA)