A FORMER combat zone between Moro rebels and government forces in the small town of Matanog in Maguindanao province has been transformed into a banana plantation with a P468-million outlay from three companies, the Bangsamoro investment board said.
“The whole fields before were once a war zone and now an economic zone in the region,” Regional Bangsamoro Board of Investments (BBOI) Board Governor Mohammad Omar Pasigan said in a statement on Tuesday.
The three firms operating in the area are Usman Banana Farm-Cardava, which invested P277.7 million, Tayan Banana Farm-Cavendish with 128 million, and Abai Banana Farm-Cavendish, P62 million.
A combined 519 locals have been employed, mostly former combatants, the board said.
Regional officials visited the farm last week in southern Philippines where Cavendish and Cardava varieties are grown.
“Our office encourages investor-friendly and effective partnerships among registered companies in the region. Hence, visiting them is essential to ensure our continued sharing of knowledge with the companies that may benefit them in the scope of their business,” Mr. Pasigan said.
He said the BBOI provides full support services from investment procedures to marketing assistance.
“We could help the company with their marketing and promotions, avail of incentives, and provide all the necessary information needed to help grow their business to its maximum potential,” he said. — MSJ