On January 30, 2024, Japanese Ambassador KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko signed and exchanged notes for “The Project for the Promotion of ‘Farm-to-School’ Meals Programme Using Locally Harvested Products in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” with the World Food Programme (WFP) Philippines Country Director at interim Giorgi Dolidze.
Also in attendance were Office of the Presidential Advisor on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., BARMM Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform Mohammad S. Yacob, Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education Chief Legal Officer Mojahid Guro Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority Chief of Official Development Assistance Hasna Adam, and Department of Foreign Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Jesus Enrique Garcia.
The Government of Japan will contribute approximately 5 million US$ to this 3-year project, which the WFP will carry out to support agricultural livelihood, boost nutrition and food security, and improve education in BARMM. This project seeks to (1) establish a school meal programme for targeted municipalities in BARMM to provide nutritious and diversified meals to around 10,000 students every school day, and (2) strengthen linkages between local smallholder farmers and schools to enhance the integration of the school feeding supply chain.
In his speech, Ambassador Koshikawa expressed his hope that the project will bring children back to school and improve their focus and concentration on their studies. He underlined that the project will not just boost livelihood, food security, and nutrition, but also enhance agricultural and economic development in BARMM.