BARMM bill to incentivize seaweed farmers
June 16, 2022

COTABATO CITY — “This proposed bill will incentivize the region’s seaweed farmers by improving their production and productivity,” said the main author of the bill, Member of Parliament Amir Mawallil.

This includes seaweed farming extension services, skills development, provision of production inputs, equipment, facilities, and infrastructure for production and post-production activities.

MP Mawallil explained that one of the problems preventing farmers from intensifying seaweed farming was the lack of capital and government support, which resulted in low socio-economic status.

In the Philippines, BARMM is the top seaweed producer, sharing 46.5% of the total aquaculture production. It is also the second top export commodity, contributing 33.33% of the total fisheries production in 2020.

For coastal villagers, particularly in the Bangsamoro region, seaweed farming is the primary means of livelihood.

Parliamentary Bill No. 196 proposed to institutionalize the Seaweed Farming Development Program in order to reduce wealth inequality in the seaweed value chain and create shared value among the region’s private companies and local communities.

Said program will make use of science-based technologies in the promotion and development of the seaweed farming industry in BARMM. It will be integrated and be made consistent with the plans, programs, activities, and projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform.

Forms of assistance to be provided under the program include improvement of production and productivity; improvement of farmers’ access to financing in the form of credit grants; provision of access to improved technologies through research; and provision of business support and development services.

The measure will also provide business support and development services, particularly in the areas of access to markets, marketing, and networking.

“This will support the region’s poorest and most vulnerable communities through sustainable rural development, access to markets, collaboration between public and private sectors, and microfinance,” MP Mawalil said.

The proposed bill will also incorporate measures to strengthen the seaweed farmers’ entrepreneurial and decision-making skills by helping them craft a trade agreement to access markets and fair prices.

If passed into law, a Seaweed Farmers Development Council will be created to oversee the proper implementation of the program through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism, and the Ministry of Interior and Local Government. (LTAIS- Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

Share This