The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), World Food Programme (WFP) and the local government unit of Arakan in North Cotabato linked arms to build more rockwell terraces in Sitio Tinanan, Ganatan for the much ballyhooed rice production enhancement project.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Marion Abella said the project aims to make the sloping or hilly areas more productive by establishing terraces similar to the century-old and time-tested technology of the indigenous people in Ifugao.
“The DAR, WFP and the Arakan government pooled their resources to enhance rural livelihood and nutrition security of the community by strengthening the stability of sloping lands and regulating the flow of available water resources,” Abella said.
“If the rock wall technology is adopted and established in the target areas, it will surely help the residents to have food security in terms of cereals for the family. It will also generate employment in the area,” he said.
Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Emelita Mayol said SitioTinanan, Ganatan lies along the Tinanan River, which makes the establishment of the area very suitable for rice terraces because of abundant water resources in the area.
“The place is inhabited mostly by the Manobo Tribe. Most of them are living below the poverty line. If rice terraces will be established, it can ensure food security and sustainability for the residents,” Mayol said.
Abella stressed that to ensure the sustainability of the project, a continuous education and training program would be conducted in the community. Organizational and management structure will also be created to suit the needs of the community.
“Recently, 29 individuals graduated from the seven-day rock wall establishment training. They are expected to facilitate the six-month project which will start anytime this month,” he said.
Last year, the municipality of Arakan has established half a hectare of rockwall rice terraces at Sitio Inamong,Datu Ladayon.
“While the effort has a long way to go, we are confident that this project will be realized through the unwavering support of various agencies such as the World Food Programme, Provincial Government of North Cotabato, and local government unit of Arakan,” Mayol said.