Speaking at the Davao Trade Expo 2010, the country’s agriculture secretary Proceso J Alcala said the area’s typhoon-free climate and soil quality made it the most suitable area in the country for growing high-value crops.
Filipino daily newspaper Business World reported that developing infrastructure on the island was important to enable the country to become self-sufficient in its food requirements.
Currently the area produces over 40 per cent of the country’s domestic food supply, and over 30 per cent of its exports, the newspaper reported.
Mr Alcala said that part of the government’s planned development thrust included the creation of modern storage facilities in all six of the island’s regions, to help boost corn production.
The newspaper also reported the government planned to build three major trading posts to enable farmers to access markets for their products more easily, making them less vulnerable to abusive middlemen.
As part of the new project, financial support from the Land Bank of the Philippines, and its rural conduit banks, would be available for farmers’ cooperatives, said Mr Alcala.
“The current agricultural development thrust for Mindanao will definitely give impetus to Mindanao’s strategic role as the country’s main food source,” Mindanao Development Authority chairman Luwalhati R Antonino told Business World.