FAO, MAFAR, BYC to capacitate Bangsamoro young farmers

COTABATO CITY (February 28, 2024)—In an effort to empower and engage the youth in agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) to capacitate young farmer groups in Maguindanao towns.

Dubbed “Strengthening the Youth’s Participation in Agriculture Towards Achieving Food and Nutrition,” the project aims to address the challenges of the aging population of farmers by providing technical support to young farmers.

In the project’s inception meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Cotabato City, BYC Chairperson Marjanie Mimbantas Macasalong, represented by Ms. Sohaila Macadato, underscored the importance of strengthening youth’s appreciation of agricultural work.

“The aging population in the agricultural sector necessitates the infusion of young and energetic individuals to replace retiring farmers. Youth participation ensures the continuity and sustainability of agricultural activities by bringing in new ideas, innovation, and technology,” Macasalong stated through his representative.

The identified beneficiaries are BYC-accredited young farmer groups from Sultan Mastura town in Maguindanao del Norte, and two towns in Maguindanao del Sur, namely Paglat and Buluan. They are set to engage in various capacity-building areas, including food security, nutrition, food systems, farming technologies, climate-smart agriculture, among others.

The project is also expected to produce policy recommendations aimed at strengthening youth participation in agriculture in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

BYC is the lead policy-making, coordinating, and monitoring agency of the Bangsamoro Government in all matters affecting youth. It leads in formulating and initiating regional policies and plans, and in setting priorities and direction for youth promotion and development programs. (BYC PR Unit/KAA)