THE Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Mafar-Barmm) and the Barmm’s Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT-Barmm) are collaborating with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in preparation for the upcoming 34th Coconut Week annual celebration.

On Thursday, August 13, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the three agencies to prepare for the celebration dubbed as "Synergy on Regional Coconut Days: Coco Bazaar + Regional Coconut Industry Stakeholders Forum + MAFARlengke + Business-to-Business Matching/Business Counselling."

Mafar-Barmm Minister Mohammad Yacob said the annual celebration, which will be held on August 25 to 27 in Cotabato City, aims to showcase the impact of the coconut industry in the lives of about 25 million Filipinos and on the Philippine economy.

Yacob said the celebration will also emphasize the importance of coconut for the Barmm.

Yacob said that during the celebration, the PCA regional and provincial offices will be conducting various activities such as setting up of Coco-Bazaar and holding a coconut stakeholders forum.

He said the celebration will also showcase exhibits, which will be participated by 11-coconut based organizations, 15 MAFARlengke Exhibitors and three institutional booths of DA-PCA, MAFAR and MTIT.

He added that the three-day celebration is expected to cater at least 300 participants

PCA Regional Manager Marina Wahab shared that “the PCA thought of partnering with Barmm’s Mafar and MTIT because coconut is significant to the lives of every Filipinos.”

Yacob said the signing of MOU implies the sustained partnership with PCA in Barmm and it is going to be one of the flagship programs of the ministry.

“The Mafar-Barmm is committed to support and facilitate the planting of coconut in the region and island provinces,” Yacob said.

MTIT Minister Abu Amri Taddik also cited the importance of "Plant, Plant, Plant" program of the government, which is needed to further incentivize and boost the agriculture sector amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. (SunStar Zamboanga)