NCIP 11 bolsters food security in IP communities amid COVID-19

The regional office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP 11) has strengthened food security to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 to Indigenous People (IP) communities in Davao Region. 

“Dako ang epekto sa atong community labi na nga naay limitation sa ilang movement, pero resilient man pud ning IP communities kay naa man sila sa ilang domain ug dunay pud sila’y mga uma mao to isa sa gitutukan sa NCIP ang food security in partnership with the Department of Agriculture,” said Gerry Aguio, regional director of NCIP 11 in a virtual presser. 

Aguio said NCIP and DA signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the food security program to sustain food availability in the IP domains as well as the entire country. Under the said program the ancestral domains will be planted with agricultural crops. 

“Duna na gi-pirmahan ang NCIP ug DA Secretary Dar on food security. Ang arrangement ini ang atoang mga municipal agriculturist ug ang mga NCIP mag-coordinate sa mga areas na suitable para sa program,” he said. 

According to Aguio, more than 50 percent of the land area in Davao Region is ancestral domain and he said they already identified areas to be tapped for the program. 

“Ang mechanism kay ipanaog pa gikan sa central office thru joint special order nga maglihok ang NCIP ug ang municipal agriculture para maabot ni nga mga interventions  kay duna daw pondo ang DA para ani nga program. Hopefully, ma-determine nato ang mga actual sites kay tan-awon pud ang suitability sa yuta and there will be analysis to be conducted by DA,” he said. 

Aguio said they already have initial sites for the program, which is 10 hectares per domain.  There are 43 ancestral domains in the region.

“Ug kung ma-pondohan ni tanan, muabot ni ug 430. Pero dili lang mi mag-limit sa 10 hectares kay naa man domain nga naay unom ka munisipyo ug pila ka barangay,” he said. 

Aguio is hopeful that the program will be implemented in all barangays in the IP communities. 

IADA site

Aguio said it is the goal of NCIP 11 to establish an Integrated Ancestral Domain Development Approach (IADA) site in every barangay where availability of food for the table starts. The IADA aims to address the economic issues of the indigenous groups through culturally-sensitive programs.

“Ug sunod ani dunay mga high-value crops, then mag-expand into food security in the community then in the whole municipality then in the whole region. Ang IADA i-manage sa community, to make it more sustaining ug dili na sila mag-sige ug pangayo ug tabang kay ma- self -sustaining naman sila,” he said. 
he establishment of an IADA site has a capitalization of P2million per 10 hectare and can develop a farm house, goat barn, chicken house, plant root crops and high value crops.

“IADA mura ni siya ug training ground sa community para mag-manage sa agricultural and financial activities nila hangtod mahasa sila ug ma- endorse na sila sa large scale development,” he said. 
IADA sites in Davao Region are in Paquibato, Malita, Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Davao Oriental.  
The next phase of IADA is the Ancestral Domain Development Areas (ADDA), which aims to address the IPs’ heavy dependence on raw forest resources, both timber and non-timber, by providing technical assistance, packaging and social marketing, and developing ancestral domain products following the principles of value chain.

Under ADDA it requires 500 hectares of land to be developed into a large scale investment for interested investors. 

“Ang large scale ani after IADA is ADDA nga open sa mga investors nga mahimong partner ang IP community sa pag-develop sa land into large scale production,” Aguio said.  

ADDA was piloted in the municipality of Boston in Davao Oriental in 2018. 

“Duna na’y gi-provide na technical description kung unsay puwede itanum didto such as abaca ug upland rice. Naa na pud ni Feasibility Study ug nag-meeting nami with international investors last year ug nakabisita na pud sila didto sa site. Karon unta na year mao na continuation sa mga nasabutan with the investors,” Aguio said.  

He said NCIP is looking at producing finish products and not just raw products in this program. This is the reason why NCIP is tapping the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to train the IP communities. 

“Ang pinaka-plano namo ang mugawas na produkto sa ancestral domain dili lang raw but finis product also. NCIP will also provide wealth management in the ancestral domain kay kung walay wealth management mahimo ning sinugdan sa away,” Aguio said.  

Aguio is hopeful that the programs will push through after the pandemic.