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Farmers to gain more benefits from enhanced development program

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has been approved at a record speed before the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), highlighting the goal of the administration to develop the agricultural sector for the benefit of Filipino agricultural workers and consumers.

PRDP Scale-Up was created to focus on the augmentation of the farmer’s and fisherfolks’ access to markets and increase their incomes. It will expand its coverage in 82 provinces nationwide with a total project cost of P45.012 billion.

The project also aims to be more competitive, sustainable, and technologically-based, so as to contribute to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

It is expected to benefit about 450,000 farmers and fisherfolk and create about 42,000 new jobs.

With a wider coverage, the 2023 project’s overall strategy involves efforts from officials across regions in coming up with key agri-fishery investment areas, and clustering and consolidation of farmer and fisherfolk cooperative associations (FCAs) within the Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIPs) and aligned with the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP) to attain economies of scale.

PRDP Scale-Up is a more developed version of the 2014 PRDP that was designed to establish a modern, value chain-oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector, providing key infrastructure, facilities, technology, enterprises, information, productivity, and competitiveness in the countryside.

The program has various components that are refined in order to achieve better goal:

First, is the involvement of planning on national and local levels. The I-PLAN Component of the PRDP Scale-Up will lay down the strategic framework in the context of overall project operation and implementation of interventions. The National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan is a guide for rationalizing DA’s plans and budgets to strengthen the framework and linkages for the delivery of devolved but integrated agriculture and fishery services by the national and local government units.

The I-BUILD component, meanwhile, will focus on building up climate-resilient and sustainable food distribution hubs and logistics systems. This is to provide unhampered mobility, access, and a stable supply of food commodities and other agri-fishery products with reduced transport, handling, and hauling costs thereby improving product quality and prices in target markets.

Moreover, the I-REAP component aims to support small to large-scale, high-impact investments and enterprise development through common service facilities, capacity-building, and other agri-aqua-support services for Farmers and Fisherfolk Cooperative and Associations (FCAs) and FCA clusters. It aims to increase productivity, value addition and improve access to the market of enterprise clusters through efficient cluster-based agricultural and fishery productivity enhancement interventions.

The I-SUPPORT component will ensure the crucial role of ensuring coordinated approaches and strategies among the three components by providing support for effective and efficient project management, project oversight, capacity building/strengthening complementary project staffing, technical assistance, and operating costs for its implementation.

Lastly, the Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) aims to provide the Government with rapid access to financing to respond to an eligible crisis or emergency through an ex-ante mechanism. This would allow rapid access and reallocation of uncommitted project funds to immediately respond to urgent situations particularly in the event of disasters (geophysical, climate-related, or man-made) such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts and disease outbreaks, and public emergencies (e.g., pandemic).

 “The Marcos Administration will continue to push for stronger support for the sector because expanding investments in food production will create jobs and promote progress,” DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said during his speech on the presentation of different programs and projects of the department for agri workers.

Aside from PRDP-Scale Up, the DA also had other projects approved including, 1) Adapting Philippine Agriculture to Climate Change (APA); 2) Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency Project (FishCoRe); and 3) Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP).

The World Bank Board is expected to approve the billion-peso project on June 29, with the loan signing taking place in July.

Of the P45.01 billion total project cost, PhP33.00 billion will be financed through official development assistance (ODA) loans from WB, while the PhP5.57 billion will come from the national government, and the PhP6.44 billion will be funded by the local government units (LGUs) and FCAs.

Once the loan is approved, project implementation shall commence in August this year. (MVMV - PIA CPSD)


File photo of PIA Lanao Del Sur 

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