P20B agri projects get fund support

    35K households to benefit. Abaca is one of the priority products of CONVERGE which aims to help improve the productivity and income of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Regions 9, 10 and Caraga. (IFAD photo)

    Some $418 million (about P20 billion) agriculture projects in the Philippines are being supported by a specialized agency of the United Nations to help lift rural folks out of poverty.

    Alessandro Marini, country director Philippines and Myanmar, of the International Food for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said the agency’s counterpart in the five ongoing projects is valued at $177.84 million or about P8.7 billion.

    IFAD’s mandate is to eradicate rural poverty and food insecurity globally.

    With this, Marini said IFAD’s vision in the Philippines is fully aligned with government’s Ambisyon 2040, in particular its “maginhawa” chapter, or a country free from hunger and poverty.

    The Philippines is among IFAD’s founding members. Since 1978, IFAD invested $390 million for 16 projects, reaching 1.9 million rural households (almost 9 million people).

    Marini identified the five ongoing projects as Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARM II) through the Department of Agriculture (DA), valued at $79.58 million; the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Programme (INREMP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources $148.62 million; the Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project (FishCORAL) of the
    DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, $43 million; Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment Project (CONVERGE) of the
    Department of Agrarian Reform

    $52.53 million and; the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnerships for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID) of the Department of Trade and Industry, $95 million.

    Since its creation in 1978, IFAD invested $20.4 billion globally to support governments by providing knowledge and investment in pursuing their own strategies to eradicate poverty in rural areas, reaching about 500 million rural poor.

    Marini said the focus of IFAD in Philippines is on promotion of competitive and inclusive agri-food value chains.

    Marini cited RAPID Growth as IFAD’s flagship project with DTI where institutions like IFAD can play a facilitating and catalytic role.

    “Agribusiness enterprises are the key drivers of the needed transformation and growth of the rural economy. Partnerships with private sector such as agri-processors, trading companies, agricultural inputs and service suppliers and financial institutions are therefore key to foster a competitive agri-business sector,” Marini said. (I. Isip)