MINDANAO Development Authority (Minda) said there is a need to accelerate implementation of connectivity projects in Mindanao this year to further improve its agriculture sector.
Minda deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro said on Wednesday, May 8, during the Habi at Kape media forum that as the agriculture sector posted growth, it has pushed the overall economic growth of Mindanao.
However, he said in order to further improve or sustain the growth, connectivity projects such as roads and bridges are needed to be implemented to facilitate greater movements of agricultural goods.
“With agriculture accounting for 60 percent of Mindanao’s gross value added, growth in this sector pushes Mindanao’s overall economic growth up. Through the said projects, the agricultural goods will be easily transported from production areas to processing and market centers and export gateways,” Montenegro said in a text message to SunStar Davao on Thursday.
“We are still advocating for more connectivity projects such as road expansions, upgrading and development of airports and seaports to improve logistics and make cost competitive,” he said.
He added that these connectivity projects they are eyeing are government-funded, through public-private partnership and Official Development Assistance loans.
In the recent report of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing as a major industry in Mindanao posted a growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2018 from 1.7 percent in 2017. This contributed to the 8.6 percent growth rate of Davao Region’s economy which also made it the second fastest growth among all regions in 2018.
“We generally mirror he national economic performance but what is worth pointing out is the growth of our agriculture. Even while the national agriculture performance slid down, Mindanao's agriculture moved up and remember that 40 percent of our contribution is related to agriculture so any improvement noted in agriculture, pushes up other sectors as well,” he said.