News Archive
May 2024

Farmers’ coop sells cheap ‘Ramadan rice’ for fasting Muslims

‘RAMADAN RICE’. Lawyer Suharto Ambolodto (2nd left) and Army Lt. Colonel Udgie Villan, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion, join members of Al-Qhalid Farmers Marketing Cooperative during the launching of “Ramadan rice” which is part of the Bigasang Bangsamoro Magsasaka (BBM) project under the Bagong Pilipinas program of the national government. The Ramadan rice is being sold in Mamasapano at PHP45 per kilo or PHP1,125 per half sack (25 kilos). (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Parliament Member Suharto Ambolodto)

By Edwin Fernandez

COTABATO CITY – The Al-Qhalid Farmers Marketing Cooperative (AFMC) based in the former conflict-affected Mamasapano town in Maguindanao del Sur is doing charitable works for some 600 needy families by selling rice at a very affordable price, officials said Thursday.

Lawyer Suharto Ambolodto, a member of the Bangsamoro region parliament, said the “Ramadan rice” is produced by AFMC, a thriving 30-member farmer’s cooperative in Barangay Tukanalipao with support from Al-Rahman Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC).

Ramadan rice is sold at PHP45 per kilo or PHP1,125 per half sack (25 kilos) to 600 families in the village. In contrast, the prevailing market price of 7-tonner rice is PHP54 per kilo or PHP1,350 per sack (25 kilos).

“This initiative is a huge relief to the cooperative members and families as we observe the Holy Month of Ramadan,” Ambolodto said.

He said “Ramadan rice” is part of the Bigasan ng Bangsamorong Magsasaka (BBM) Rice Project, which supports President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s efforts to lower the price of rice.

The BBM Rice Project, launched earlier via Al-Rahman Farmers MPC, seeks to procure “palay” at more competitive prices and make affordable rice available to farmers, particularly in the “SPMS box.”

The “SPMS box” refers to the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi Ampatuan), Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona Mustapha, where the violent extremists Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) operate.

Residents in these areas are repeatedly forced to flee when government forces and BIFF bandits clash.

Earlier, the AFMC received financial assistance from the office of Ambolodto to enhance its capacity to produce rice and to empower Bangsamoro communities towards food security.

Under President Marcos’ Bagong Pilipinas program, the Al-Rahman Farmers MPC exceeded the 2025 Department of Agriculture target palay harvest of 5 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha) by harvesting 86 percent more, or 9.3 MT/ha in September last year. (PNA) QR Code

Published Date: March 14, 2024

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