The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it is positioned to set the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) into action.
The P27.5-billion (US$670-million) program, which the DA has called the “biggest foreign-assisted program” in the country, seeks to create a modern, climate-smart, and market-oriented agriculture and fishery industries.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala noted that the six-year program is complementary to the department’s primary efforts and initiatives, especially in the areas of poverty reduction, the creation of inclusive growth, and creation of job and livelihood opportunities.
The PRDP is funded by the country’s loan from the World Bank. Approximately $670 million (P27.50 billion) will be allocated to the program, with two-thirds of the funds (around P18.50 billion) allotted for infrastructure, and one third (P6.9 billion) for value-chain agri-fishery enterprises, as proposed by local government units (LGUs) as well as farmers and fishers groups across the nation.
There are four main areas of involvement and implementation under the PDRP: investment in agri-fishery modernization plan (i-PLAN); intensified building up infrastructure and logistics for development (i-BUILD); Investment in rural enterprises for agriculture and fisheries productivity (i-REAP); and implementation support (i-SUPPORT).
According to the DA, the pilot-test for the program will be done in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), specifically in Talayan town in the province of Maguindanao, in which the very first concrete farm-to-market (FMR) road project will be established.