MSU-Maguindanao, MTIT-BARMM Partner on RAPID Growth Project Extension Services Participation

#MSUMagAt50 | Mindanao State University-Maguindanao headed by Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona, PhD and Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MTIT-BARMM) headed by Minister Abuamri A. Taddik officially signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project Extension Service Participation on May 2, 2024 at MTIT Conference Room, Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City.

This MOA aimed to empower smallholder farmers and unemployed rural residents by providing business and advisory services to increase their incomes and reduce poverty. The agreement outlines plan to connect farmers with necessary supplies, share marketing information, strengthen farmer organizations, promote new technologies, and offer training programs. Ultimately, this initiative seeks to make agriculture a more sustainable and profitable livelihood in rural areas.

Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona, Ph.D., highlighted that extension services are one of the university’s four-fold functions. The university’s ABM Department has been actively involved in capacity development initiatives within various communities, particularly Maguindanao. This initiative, guided by the RAPID framework, will significantly support the coconut, cacao, and coffee industries as outlined in the MOA. The ABM Department will lead this extension project, hoping the program will influence policy creation and train not only business managers but also other key personnel in cooperatives. Chancellor Limbona concluded by saying “๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜บ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ.”

MTIT Minister Taddik emphasized the importance of this collaboration between academia and industry for fostering innovation, sustainable growth, and knowledge exchange. The collaboration will create a better platform for research partnerships, skills development, and project opportunities for students and educators. It will also empower farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to contribute meaningfully to the economy.

Director General Rosslaini J. Alonto-Sinarimbo, MTIT-BARMM RAPID Regional Project Director, expressed satisfaction with the formal partnership and the opportunity to learn from MSU-Maguindanao’s expertise in business management. Ms. Amina S. Karon-Mendez, OIC-CTIDS, MTIT-BARMM and TDC, RAPID Growth Project, further explained that the primary goal is to actively engage stakeholders in Maguindanao’s key agricultural sectors, particularly coffee, cacao, and coconut production. This will be achieved through long-term business advisory services such as coaching, mentoring, and continuous follow-up.

Bureau of Trade & Industry (BTI) Director Hussein B. Biruar concluded the event by expressing his gratitude for the collaborative efforts and emphasizing the importance of such partnerships for creating sustainable opportunities for local businesses and communities. Director Biruar also reiterated the BTl’s commitment to providing support and resources to ensure the initiative’s success.

Present during the signing were Atty. Fatma Amil, Chief Accountant, MTIT staff, and representatives from MSU-Maguรญndanao: Bai Zaharita S. Ambolodto, Kungan T. Kasan, Jolhana S. Abdulrahman, and Louie Jay C. Aguilar.