Agusan del Norte farmers seek to boost harvest processing capacity with new equipment

Ishfaq Muhammad Khan (in blue), head of the ICRC’s Butuan office, joins villagers as they inspect the donated farm equipment. (Photo courtesy of M.Lucero/ICRC)

COTABATO CITY (January 20, 2024) — Around 107 families from the suburbs of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte, some of whom have been displaced by conflict, are set to improve their harvest processing capacity after receiving post-harvest machinery from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Residents of Sitio Lusong in Barangay Puting Bato received a corn sheller and corn mill from the ICRC during a handover ceremony in December 2023, which was also attended by officials of the local government unit and the City Agriculture Office of Cabadbaran. The ICRC worked with the provincial government of Agusan del Norte in completing the project.
The corn sheller is used to quickly and efficiently separate kernels of the corn from the cob. The corn kernel is processed into fine powder by grinding it in the corn mill. The new farming equipment will be operated by the farmers’ association. 
At least 37 families living in Barangay Puting Bato were displaced from their original homes due to armed conflict. They lost their sources of income and are in the process of rebuilding through farming, with the help of the local government and ICRC.
Apart from the equipment, the displaced families and host residents received food rations, farm tools, and seeds such as maize, beans and squash. Last year, 107 households were trained by the ICRC and the City Agriculture Office of Cabadbaran on contouring techniques, inter-cropping and post-harvest management techniques.  It was also in 2023 when the ICRC completed the rehabilitation of the village’s water supply system.
“Armed conflicts leave severe humanitarian consequences on civilians, such as the loss of jobs and livelihood. We hope that these farm tools leave a positive impact on the lives of the people, and pave the way for them to have a brighter future,” says Ishfaq Muhammad Khan, head of the ICRC’s Butuan office.  
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. (BMN network news, BangsamoroToday)

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