Del Monte lends hand on Bangsamoro farmers

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By Mico Agustin

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has announced that top executives of giant pineapple firm Del Monte Philippines Inc. has agreed to provide technical and management support as well as marketing contract to Bangsamoro farmers who will produce Cavendish bananas and other tropical fruits for the corporation.

The move was made after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his desire for the company to help the Bangsamoro operate their own farms and give them the opportunity to cash in on the lucrative market for tropical fruits by engaging them in a production-contract scheme.

"Let the Bangsamoro people get more benefits from their land by making them the producers and not just lessors," the President said.

The development was a complete turn-around for the Bangsamoro areas which were shunned by agricultural investors just few years ago because of the endless fighting between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and even rogue members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).