DA program seeks to improve productivity of farmers, fishers-A A +A
Monday, April 30, 2012
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes to increase the productivity and income of Visayan farmers through a rural development program that will be implemented in six regions, including Region 7.
In his recent visit to Central Visayas, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala met with farmers, fishers, livestock growers, other agricultural stakeholders and local government officials to resolve major problems and discuss strategies to increase the productivity and income of Visayan farmers and fishers.
He met farmers in Cebu, Dumaguete and Valencia, Negros Oriental.
Alcala presented the proposed medium-term development program called Central Philippines Rural Development Program (CPRDP), which the DA intends to submit to the World Bank (WB) for consideration and possible funding.
The CPRDP is designed as a poverty-alleviation initiative patterned after the Mindanao Rural Development Plan (MRDP), which is now on its second phase. This project will be initially implemented in six regions (4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7 and 8), in partnership with provincial and municipal government units.
According to Alcala, CPRDP is similar to MRDP, which seeks to improve incomes of farmers and fisherfolk in rural communities, and achieve food security through infrastructure, financing, capacity-building and other support services.
“Right now, we are asking the World Bank for a $300-million loan and we are hoping that it will be granted. I am positive that this partnership will push through because of the success of the MRDP,” Alcala said in a statement.
However, unlike the MRDP, which adopts a 50-40-10 counter-parting scheme from the WB, DA and the LGUs, respectively, to bankroll infrastructure, livelihood and community projects, the CPRDP is proposing an 80-20 counter-parting ratio, wherein the DA and the LGUs will each share 10 percent of the total project cost and the remaining 80 percent will be sourced from program funds.
Alcala said the CPRDP will also focus on the expansion and establishment of alternative and expansion areas for staple foods in Southern Luzon, Bicol and Visayas.
He said these will augment crop and fishery production areas in Luzon and Mindanao, both of which are affected by uncertain weather conditions.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 01, 2012.