AGRI-FISHERIES MASTER PLAN. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol speaks before Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) agriculture and fishery officials during pre-planning meeting for the crafting of the BARMM agri-fisheries master plan in General Santos City on July 3, 2019. (Photo courtesy of DA national office)

COTABATO CITY – Stakeholders of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) will gather in Davao City on July 11-12 for the first-ever Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Agriculture and Fisheries Master Plan Assembly.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, in a statement Monday, said the crafting of the master plan would be administered by Department of Agriculture's (DA) national office.

Expected to participate are about 300 stakeholders like farmer leaders, fisher folks, peoples’ organizations, development planners, agriculturists, engineers, and local officials from the fledgling BARMM entity in Mindanao.

“It will be held in Davao City,” Piñol said of the upcoming assembly.

The master plan will focus on the aspects of increasing agriculture and fisheries productivity in the region; identification of critical infrastructure services like rural roads and fish ports to hasten economic growth; addressing chronic poverty; facilitation of land titling of lands to end conflicts; and establishment of a food security plan that would make the region self-reliant thus ensuring availability of affordable food.

Piñol said once the draft master plan shall have been completed, it will be presented to BARMM Chief Minister Ahod "Murad" Ebrahim.

The DA chief said he will submit another copy of the draft master plan to President Rodrigo Duterte before his State of the Nation Address on July 22.

The Master Plan for Agriculture and Fisheries will be the first ever to be crafted for the Bangsamoro region whose development was stunted by decades of conflict and bloodshed, Piñol said. (PNA)