|Zamboanga Del Sur’s Aqua-Entrepreneurs|
Members of the Dinas Minority Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative, comprised of former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Front and their families, sort bangus grown by the cooperative in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur. USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, through its Barangay Infrastructure Project, recently constructed this facility, which is being used as an a fish and prawn holding station and ice storage unit by the local community and by co-op members who have been trained by GEM’s Targeted Commodity Expansion Project in high-value aquaculture production. This has led to increased incomes in the area, since growers can now efficiently sort, pack and consolidate their fishpond produce. Through its business growth component, GEM is helping aquaculture and agriculture growers throughout conflict-affected areas in Mindanao to upgrade their production techniques and link up with potential local and foreign buyers, under the oversight of the Mindanao Economic Development Council.
Published in www.mindanao.com, August 6, 2009; Business Mirror, August 7-8, 2009;