Bangsamoro gets P277-M banana export investment
COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines —The Bangsamoro Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the P277-million project of export agriculture company Usman Banana Farm in Matanog town of Maguindanao province.
Lawyer Ishak Mastura, chair of the Bangsamoro BOI, said on Monday that the new investment would employ 215 workers in the Bangsamoro and brought to P474 million the total amount of approved projects in the region for the first quarter of 2022.
He said the new project could be considered the first of its kind in the region because unlike other registered banana projects that embarked in the production and export of the Cavendish variety, Usman Farm would concentrate on cardava, classified as a cooking banana variety.
Mastura said the BOI targeted some P4.5 billion in investment pledges in the Bangsamoro this year.
He said the Usman Farm project was expected to spur socioeconomic development in Matanog, an agricultural town of 36,000 people.
“This company envisions itself as a catalyst for peace in the town of Matanog and the surrounding areas. It, as well as its ancillary industries, will provide direct employment [to people of the town],” he said.
As a registered investment project, Usman Farm will enjoy fiscal incentives, such as the six-year income tax holiday and reduced duties for importation of capital equipment, Mastura said.
In January, the Bangsamoro BOI approved the projects of two companies, a bulk water supplier and a hotel developer, with a combined worth of P200 million as the “opening salvo” of investments in the region.
—EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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