The war-ravaged Marawi City is now being rehabilitated and prepared as the food basket of Mindanao with the successful harvest of rice in an initial 50-hectare demo farm of hybrid rice.
Each of the farmers earned at least P100,000 over a three month period in a successful partnership between the province and hybrid rice producer SL Agritech.
During the rice harvest festival in Bubong, Marawi City, site of the demo farm, officials from the province talked of an ambitious plan to make Marawi City, which has a cool clime like that of Baguio City, to be the rice and vegetable capital of Mindanao.
The Maranaws of Lanao del Sur are not into farming and they want to be merchants. Thus, officials said it took a while before the initial 50 farmers were convinced.
Lanao del Sur provincial agriculturist Mohamadali Macarayan said there were 40,000 hectares initially available in Marawi City and this could be marshaled for the food basket plan.
SL Agritech had donated the seeds and provided technical assistance to open the eyes of the Maranaws to the farming potential of Marawi City, according to company senior technical consultant Frisco Malabanan.