Once finalized, an estimated P800 million worth of agri-based manufacturing project would be realized, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Bukidnon farmers and a manufacturing company based in Marawi City.
The Manobo Tribal Communities Association, Inc. (MATRICA) of Barangay Kalagangan, San Fernando, Bukidnon agreed to produce soya beans and other raw materials for Suming Lee Food Processing Plant.
Suming Lee manufactures food energy drink made of soya beans marketed all over the autonomous region and neighboring areas.
The project, which will cover some 3,000 hectares of farmland, is estimated to cost P800 million or US$20 million. The parties settled to study the joint venture and had arranged for future discussions and agreements.
In a press statement, the BPI-ARMM said that the two-day 7th ARMM Business Congress last week (Aug 5 and 6) paved the way for the signing of MoU.
Participants of the two-day congress held in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur have expressed confidence on ARMM’s ability to make a major economic turnaround, especially with its participation in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The same press statement identifies La Frutera Inc., in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, as the biggest investment so far in the autonomous region. La Frutera runs a large-scale banana plantation and its’ bananas are exported abroad by Chiquita and Unifrutti,
La Frutera continues to provide jobs to Muslim and Christian residents, not only in Datu Paglas, but also in municipalities of nearby Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces. The company have links in Japan, Korea, and China as well as some countries in the Middle East and Europe.
In related developments, the autonomous regional government in Mindanao has been stepping up its efforts to make the region the country’s halal hub by striving Halal Fraud Bill to become a law.
The measure will control devious businesses and practices regarding halal foods as well as protect consumers from products that pose danger to health and safety.
For Muslims, there are some food, ingredients, and preparation procedures that are either generally acceptable or halal, if not considered prohibited or haram. (Press Release/BPI-ARMM/PIA9-BST)