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DA seeks more project proposals from LGUs for PRDP funding

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is encouraging more Local Government Units (LGUs) to propose more projects under the World Bank-supported Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the total value of proposed projects have already reached P13 billion, with P5.3 billion, worth of rural development projects approved for implementation.

Alcala urges more LGUs to participate in the program as additional funding may be requested from the World Bank.

“We will have to see how much more will be needed by the LGUs based on their project proposal before we send our request to the WB,” he said. “We may be requesting not less than $500 million from them.”

Alcala said the WB has given a positive review on the first semester of the implementation of the program.

The PRDP, rolled out begin the second semester of 2014, is a six-year program implemented by the DA with the WB for the creation of an inclusive, value-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.

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The total project cost for the PRDP is P27.5 billion, consisting of a P20.5-billion loan from the World Bank, P3.58-billion counterpart funding from the national government, P3.112-billion equity of local government units, and P287-million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The PRDP builds on the innovations introduced by the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) that was concluded in 2013. It will cover 80 provinces in 16 regions.

Local government units that choose to participate in the project are required to provide counterpart funds of 10 percent of the project cost for production support for commodities, and 20 percent of the project cost for infrastructure projects.

They must also prepare a business proposal for the agricultural commodities that they wish to develop into a sustainable industry and subject their plan to a value chain analysis.

The PRDP provides for a value chain analysis for 25 priority agricultural commodities in the country including coffee, rubber, mango and seaweeds.

A value chain analysis is used to identify public and private investment opportunities through the determination of the status of a particular industry, the linkages among players and the interventions that can be implemented to develop the industry.

For instance, Davao City, where Alcala was on a field visit recently, is already preparing a commodity investment plan for cacao.

The DA has so far temporarily waived the value chain analysis requirement for provinces in central Philippines still reeling from the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda to expedite the release of production assistance funds under the PRDP.

PRDP deputy program director Arnel de Mesa said waiving the requirement, albeit temporarily, would enable the LGUs to immediately avail of the counterpart funding scheme under the PRDP to support the production of its main agricultural commodities.

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