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EU supports Bangsamoro farmers, agri-enterprises with ₱1.23 billion fund

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The Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) launched today January 15, 2024, the ₱1.23 billion Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise Program (BAEP).

BAEP is part of the EU’s long term support to building lasting peace and promoting inclusive development in the BARMM. The programme will support small to medium sized producers and businesses in the agri-fishery value chains on the three island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa), as well as the Halal sector and the promotion of private sector investment throughout the BARMM.

This initiative will complement other EU peace and development programmes such as Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA) (PhP 1.5 billion), the Peace and Development Programme BARMM (PD-BARMM) (PhP 1.5 billion), and the Mindanao Peace and Development Programme (MINPAD-Rise) (PhP 2.1 billion), by contributing to the autonomous regional government’s efforts to help local communities improve and secure livelihoods. BAEP will further support the BARMM’s work to foster the region’s capacity to promote quality food products and attract investment in the Agri-fishery sector. Particular attention will be paid to empower vulnerable populations in Bangsamoro, such as indigenous peoples, women, and youth.

At the launch ceremony, EU Ambassador Luc Véron thanked the BARMM government for their engagement and leading role and reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting the achievement of sustainable peace in the Bangsamoro region. “BAEP will accompany the EU’s other peace and development programmes to provide support to the BARMM government in delivering peace dividends to communities in the region, in particular in isolated places that often feel left behind. We thank the BARMM government, and especially its Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, for their leading role and for showing the way to a more inclusive and peaceful BARMM.”

For his part, Chief Minister Ebrahim expressed his support and gratitude: “ As we continue sowing the crop to sustain the dividends of the peace process, let us remember that the success of the Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise Programme is a shared responsibility. The collaboration between the Bangsamoro government, the European Union, and various stakeholders is crucial. Together, we can overcome obstacles, capitalize on opportunities, unlock potential, and create a model for sustainable development that inspires other regions facing similar circumstances.

I commend all the stakeholders who have played an important role in the realization of this Bangsamoro Agri-Enterprise Program, especially the delegation of the European Union to the Philippines representing the European Union for these noble initiatives. Certainly, this program will contribute to the overall socio-economic development of Bangsamoro.”

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