'Former rebels' undergo veggie production training

ZAMBOANGA. The military in partnership with concerned stakeholders conducts a three-day vegetable production training to provide livelihood opportunity to a group of “former rebels” in Sumisip, Basilan province. A photo handout shows the trainees who undergo the three-day training that culminated Tuesday, July 28. (SunStar Zamboanga)

A GROUP of “former rebels” have undergone a three-day training on vegetable production in Tumahubong village, Sumisip, Basilan province.

The training, which culminated Tuesday, July 28, was facilitated by the 64th Infantry Battalion in partnership with Australian Aid through Balay Mindanaw Foundation Incorporated, Basilan Provincial Agriculture Office and Sumisip Municipal Government.

Lieutenant Colonel Renante Besa, 64th Infantry Battalion commander, said the vegetable production training was conducted under the Agricultural Livelihood Program of advancing and sustaining good governance and community actions towards resiliency and empowerment for former rebels.

Besa said the training is anchored in the theme “Sustainable Food Security for All.”

He said the program was created for exposure tours but now in the livelihood program of the returnees as the situation calls due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Besa noted that the former rebels expressed gratitude to the government in helping them change and embrace a peaceful life as a citizen of Basilan.

He said one of the highlights in the activity was the turnover of garden tool package to include several seeds to plant.

The package is composed of a pick mattock, shovel, sprinkler, sprayer, pesticides, and input package like ampalaya, okra, kalabasa, sweet pepper, pechay, sitaw, talong and patola.

Colonel Domingo Gobway, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, is happy to note that there is an agricultural training for former rebels.

Gobway also shared his personal experience on how he survived financial difficulties through vegetable gardening during his younger days. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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