AMAI MANABILANG, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–A modern agro-industrial project will soon rise here after the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) launched Tuesday, November 16, the Agro-Industrial Development Program (AIDP) for the municipalities of Wao and Amai Manabilang.
The project will cover the 26,000-hectare (ha) SPDA property of which approximately 16,000 ha is located in Wao while the 10,000 ha is in Amai Manabilang. Around 12 barangays, six from each municipality, will benefit from the project.
SPDA Administrator and CEO Abdulghani Salapuddin said the AIDP is pursuant to Republic Act No. 8435 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (AFMA), a government policy instrument defining measures to modernize Philippine agriculture for the country to compete in the global market.
“Despite the meager funds of the Authority, and at no expense on the part of the Government, through creativity and linkages, by the grace of Allah, we managed to persuade ASPAC AG (Asia Pacific Precision Agriculture Group) to become our partner in implementing this precision agricultural engineering in the 26,000 hectares of SPDA proclaimed property in the municipalities of Wao and Amai Manabilang,” he said.
ASPAC-AG is an American company that undertakes modern, mechanized, precision agriculture technology.
Salappudin said he was elated that they have linked up with ASPAC AG that has the technology, expertise, experience, and funds to fully undertake the full potential of SPDA’s Mindanao Special Economic Zone (MinSEZ).
“Their giant farm, tractors, and machines are guided by GPS. Their farm tractors and machines can run without a driver, they can just manage it from their office. That’s how modern the technology and the machines that they have brought to us,” he said.
SPDA is also set to hold another launch of the program in partnership with a Dutch multinational company, Kennemer Foods International.
“ASPAC-AG will be cultivating corn and soybeans whereas Kennemer will be cultivating cacao and coffee. The cacao they will supply to Mars Incorporated, the American company that produces M&M chocolates, while the coffee they would supply to Starbucks. Starbucks as you know is all over the world. That’s how much coffee is needed that we have to produce,” said the SPDA administrator.
Aside from employment for the local population, generation of local taxes, and transfer of modern agricultural technology, Salappudin cited that this kind of project would also support and sustain the GPH-MILF peace deal economically.
Meanwhile, Mayor James Manabilang of Amai Manabilang municipality said the AIDP is a history in the making for his municipality. He said AIDP will not only benefit Amai Manabilang and Wao but also the province of Lanao del Sur and the BARMM in general.
As such, he conveyed his gratitude to the SPDA management for the implementation of AIDP and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for backing the project. (APB/PIA Lanao del Sur)