P4.7B agri program focuses on 4 sectors

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    Private sector and government through a seed fund from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are rolling out a P4.7-billion five-year market-driven agricultural production concept that will push the development of four focused sectors namely: coffee, cacao, coconut and processed fruit and nuts.

    Edqin Banquerigo, program director of the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID) Growth Project said the loan grant from IFAD of P3.7 billion was augmented by a P1 billion counterpart from farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises.

    The project will be rolled out between July 2019 to September 2025 in 7 regions and 21 provinces where poverty incidence is high and the significant presence of the commodities and/or has the potential to expand and grow said crops.

    Banquerigo said in his presentation at the launch of RAPID’s partnership with Nestle Philippines Inc. yesterday, the project aims to double its reach by the end of the year from the present 35 micro, small and medium enterprises as anchor firms, 158 farmer organizations and 18,000 farmer households covering 37,000 hectares.

    Nestlé will link coffee farmers to Nescafe Plan and Project Coffee+, an initiative seeking to transform 1,500 coffee farmers in Bukidnon and Sultan Kudarat into agripreneurs.

    As a commercial partner, Nestlé will provide a ready market for locally-grown Robusta coffee. – I. Isip