LIVESTOCK RECIPIENTS. Farmer-recipients of goats from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) flash the thumbs up sign after receiving the livestock in Barangay Buliok, Pikit, North Cotabato, Friday (July 29, 2022). Farmers in a Maguindanao village – Barangay Bente-Uno in Sultan Kudarat – also receive livestock as government assistance after their farmlands were flooded. (Photo courtesy of MAFAR)

COTABATO CITY – Two flooded villages in North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces are initial recipients of a livestock assistance program from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government Friday.

At least 155 goats were given to flood-affected farmers in Barangay Buliok, Pikit, North Cotabato, and Barangay Bente-Uno, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, during the separate distributions in the two areas.

“This is just the beginning. We will be distributing livestock to other farmers in North Cotabato and Maguindanao soon,” Disumimba Rasheed, director for the BARMM Special Geographic Area in North Cotabato, told reporters here in an interview.

Rasheed said the livestock distribution, as facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, is a way of helping farmers recover from the losses brought about by natural calamities.

In Maguindanao, 10 towns have been flooded as a result of weather disturbances affecting Mindanao spawned by a low-pressure area and intertropical convergence zones.

Luth Salik, the chairperson of Buliok, Pikit, was quoted by the BARMM information office as saying she will closely monitor the recipients so the livestock will not go to waste.

Rasheed said other BARMM agencies are also expected to extend aid to affected families who are mostly farmers and fisherfolk living near the Maguindanao marshland.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, agriculture officers in the locality were tasked to help monitor and ensure the propagation of the farm animals. (PNA)