WB to fund add’l agri programs in PH


    The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it got commitment from the World Bank to finance four proposed projects aimed at enhancing agri-fishery extension systems, livelihood assistance to fisherfolk and indigenous peoples as well as efforts to update the national farmers’ registry system.

    “Within our first 100 days in office, we received the World Bank’s nod to bankroll several projects that highlight our new thinking for agriculture. The proposed projects are on top of the extension of the current World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Project worth $280 million,” William Dar, DA secretary, said in a statement.

    Dar said the proposed projects will involve $200 million for provincial agricultural and fishery extension delivery system; another $200 million for coastal resilience and fisheries development project; and $100 million for Mindanao inclusive agriculture development projects.

    The first project is a new proposal while the last two are already being evaluated by the World Bank, he added.

    The DA also proposed an update and enhancement of the registry system for basic sectors in agriculture (RSBSA) that will contain a reliable list of legitimate farmers and fishers nationwide.

    “With an updated RSBSA, we will be able to focus the delivery of needed services and initiatives to our clienteles most especially small farmers and fisherfolk – more effectively and efficiently,” said Dar.

    Likewise, he mentioned that the World Bank will be asked to provide technical assistance on critical policy matters such as on crafting a rice value chain industry roadmap.