The CALABARZON Committee on Migration and Development (CMD), during its Third Quarter Meeting on July 28, endorsed the Mt. Banahaw Agroforestry Project by the Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. which aims to provide agroforestry venture opportunities to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families as well as promote climate resilient business and social enterprise.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through its National Greening Program, awarded Atikha a 34-hectare coconut plantation interplanted with coffee and guyabano in Sariaya, Quezon for the implementation of the project. A training on agroforestry business will be spearheaded by Atikha in partnership with concerned government agencies and academic institutions. It will capacitate the OFWs on agroforestry including product processing and marketing.
Other CMD members already expressed their interest and commitment to engage in this project, among them are University of the Philippines – Los Banos, and Department of Science and Technology. The DENR representative expressed willingness to discuss the possible extension of the Project’s Memorandum of Agreement to more than 5 years.
The CALABARZON CMD recognized the contribution of the project towards reintegration of OFWs through provision of agroforestry livelihood opportunities. It will also contribute to the local government unit’s (LGU) development through job creation for new and existing farmers, increase in number of operating agribusinesses, and investment promotion in climate smart businesses. The Committee endorsed the project to the Regional Development Council for subsequent endorsement to concerned LGU, government agencies, and academic institution/s for support.
Luningning D. Llames, NEDA Region IV-A | August 1, 2022