“The commitments are already there and we will work on it in the next two weeks,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Edd Gumban
World Bank commits $840 M for agri projects
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank has committed $840 million in assistance for the development of the local agriculture sector to cover more areas and projects in the country.

“The commitments are already there and we will work on it in the next two weeks,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Of the $840 million (P43.68 billion), $500 million will be allocated for the provincial agricultural extension system to allow local governments to develop their own agriculture programs and policies.

The program is expected to be inclusive and will follow the agri-business approach.

Another $240 million will go to the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), which has been cited by the World Bank as one of the most outstanding programs implemented that is worth replicating by other nations.

So far, PRDP received a total of $760 million in funding from the World Bank since it began in 2013 as a farm-to-market road initiative and was eventually added with several livelihood components to ensure stakeholders participation.

The PRDP, which was jumpstarted by former agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala, is known to have revolutionized ways of doing business in and with the DA, introducing innovations in enhancing transparency, accountability and participation mechanisms.

It was designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart, and market-oriented agri-fishery sector, focusing on expanding market access and improving competitiveness while introducing reforms in the internal operations of the DA.

The program aimed to increase annual real household incomes of farmer beneficiaries, annual marketed  output and the number of  farmers with improved access to DA services.

Meanwhile, the remaining $100 million will be allotted for several projects in Mindanao.

“We will pour more resources and investments in Mindanao. It is not getting the right budget based on what they are contributing to the economy. We want to give back through additional investments,” Dar said.

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