DA unveils 3 WB-funded projects to boost agricultural productivity

2023 November 7

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS. The Department of Agriculture opens an exhibit showcasing various World Bank-funded projects at Novotel Manila Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City on Monday (Nov. 6, 2023). Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. (right) and Assistant Secretary for Operations and Philippine Rural Development Project National Project Director Arnel de Mesa are joined in the opening ceremony by World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines Dr. Ndiamé Diop (center, in suit). 

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched three new projects funded by the World Bank (WB) as part of government efforts to achieve food security.

Newly installed DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. led the unveiling of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up, Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project, and Mindanao Inclusive Agricultural Development Project (MIADP) in a ceremony held at Novotel hotel in Quezon City on Monday afternoon.

Laurel underscored the significance of the three projects, noting that these are in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s thrust to strengthen the capabilities of farmers and fisherfolks through climate-resilient policies and innovations.

“Together with our longtime partner, the World Bank, we are excited to see the immense contribution to increasing agricultural productivity, market access, income and resiliency and significantly improve organized farmer and fisherfolk groups’ access to markets and services,” he said.

The PRDP Scale-up is designed to address the gaps in the commodity value chain by improving the efficiency of the food supply chain towards greater connectivity, mobility, accessibility, availability and affordability of food in the market.

It covers all 16 regions composed of 82 provinces and will be implemented for six years until 2029.

MIADP, meanwhile, aims to increase the income of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICC/IPs) farmers and fisherfolk.

The MIADP has a PHP6.625 billion budget, of which PHP5.3 billion will be funded under WB loan assistance, PHP863 million as counterpart of the government, and PHP461 million as equity from the participating local government unit.

The FishCoRe Project, on the other hand, seeks to improve the management of fishery resources and enhance value of fisheries production in Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) 6 and 9 covering 11 regions and 24 provinces.

It has three components namely Fisheries and Coastal Resilient Resource Planning and Management (FishCRRM), Modern and Resilient Livelihood Investments (MARLIN), and Support to Project Implementation and Management (SuPriM).

Dr. Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, emphasized the importance of the three projects in building greater resilience into agriculture.

He said the three projects support the development of a more resilient and climate-resilient agriculture and fishery sector in the Philippines through information-sharing of climate-risk and climate-resilience, and establishment of criteria and standard for hazard, vulnerability and risk.

Through these projects, he said the World Bank seeks to empower more farmers and agri-fishery enterprises to adapt climate-smart agri-fisheries technology.

“We are committed as a world bank, to supporting the Department of Agriculture in implementing all these projects and we look forward to closely working with all the stakeholders and the new leadership to get these projects implemented,” he said.

DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said they are relying on the cooperation and alliance of key stakeholders to strengthen, endorse and safeguard the fundamental aspects of a thriving food production industry..

“The launch of the three projects is a testament to our commitment to the vision of ‘enabling communities and expanding opportunities’ for our beneficiaries,” de Mesa, national project director of the Philippine Rural Development Project, said. 

Noemi Reyes (PNA)