by Lynrose Jane D. Genon, CASS

Food security and livelihood are adversely affected by the unprecedented lockdown measures of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the fish supply to upland communities has drastically diminished,  thus prices skyrocketed making them less affordable to low-income consumers like the locals of Rogongon, one of the remote barangays of Iligan City. 

Responding to the urgency to alleviate impacts of the crisis to access to food, Malandog Farmers Association (MLA), through the Food & Livelihood Project for Community Development (FLIP-CD) of the Department of Extension of MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology,  provided locals of Rogongon fresh, locally-available tilapia. Mr. Jovencio Linsagan, 66 years old, a beneficiary of the project, and who owns a 600 square meters fishpond,  was able to harvest tilapia to feed his family and even sold 100 kilos of the fish; hence,  generating income during the lockdown. 

FLIP-CD was launched in July 2019. The project aimed at developing opportunities and capacities of community organizations in food security and sustainable livelihoods (SDGs 1, 2 and 11), through harnessing the existing fishponds in Hinaplanon, Iligan City, which was part of the Institute’s collaborative project with the  Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). 

The project FLIP-CD partners with locals and community-based organizations with existing fishponds.  One of the pioneer partners of the project is the Malandog Farmers Association (MLA), in Sitio Malandog, Barangay Rogongon. This association is endorsed and supported by the Barangay in its participation in the project.  MLA was set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Institute during the Panagtagbo 2020 in February, which was indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At present, the  FLIP-CD is currently attending to the requests of other farmers to be part of the project.