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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Farmers ask gov’t to intervene in Lanao del Sur land clearing

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The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) asked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intervene in the alleged demolition of crops and homes belonging to around 1,000 Ilocano settler families in Lanao del Sur province.

The FFF said in a statement Friday the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), along with private companies Kennemer Foods International Inc. (KFI) and Asia Pacific Precision Agriculture Group (ASPAC AG), cleared over 400 hectares of farmland as of December 2023.

“These SPDA-led actions have caused millions of pesos in lost farmers’ incomes as well as greatly reduced supplies of vegetables for consumer markets in the cities of Marawi, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Malaybalay, and Valencia.  They have disrupted cane deliveries to two sugar mills in Bukidnon. All this will pave the way for SPDA’s implementation of its joint venture with KFI and ASPAC AG for cacao, coffee, corn and soybean plantations,” FFF said.

It said the affected families are descendants of Ilocano migrants who arrived in the 1950s under the Magsaysay administration’s resettlement program.

FFF said the government-owned SPDA claims the land falls within its designated agro-industrial development zone. The SPDA asserts its control over 10,000 hectares in Amai Manabilang and 16,000 hectares in Wao municipality, citing Presidential Proclamation No. 2046 issued in 1981.

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