Japan approves P450-M aid for underprivileged farmers

July 16, 2009 9:23 am 

MANILA, July 16 – Japan has recently approved a grant assistance of P450 million for two projects under the Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers Program (GAUFP), Japanese Ambassador to Manila Makoto Katsura announced.

The two projects are “AKBAY – Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy (Agriculture a Partner in Philippine Progress) Program” and the “Rehabilitation of Small-Scale Irrigation Projects for Upland Productivity and Resource Sustainability.”

The National Agricultural and Fishery Council-proposed (NAFC) AKBAY project, worth P150 million, will assist the agriculture and fisheries sectors of 31 low-income provinces in Luzon and the Visayas with livelihood opportunities to enhance employment generation, strengthen entrepreneurial skills.

AKBAY components include financial assistance to agri-and fishery-related micro-income generating activities, including the acquisition and establishment of pre and post harvest facilities and thus strengthening agricultural and fishery activities, including processing.

The Project for Rehabilitation of Small-Scale Irrigation for Upland Productivity and Resource Sustainability, amounting to P300 million, would improve the living conditions of upland farming communities by creating opportunities for increased productivity and income while protecting upland resources.

It includes the rehabilitation of 185 small-scale irrigation activities, enhancing agricultural productivity of around 6,300 hectares of unproductive upland areas as well as capacity building for upland farmers.

The project implementation is spearheaded by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management of the Department of Agriculture.

GAUFP, previously known as the Increased Food Production Program or 2KR Program, focuses on uplifting the lives of disadvantaged farmers.

The NAFC of the Department of Agriculture spearheaded the implementation of the program. Initiated by the Government of Japan in 1977, the program has contributed to increasing agricultural productivity in the Philippines, through commodity assistance such as fertilizers.

These commodities are sold and the proceeds, accumulated in Counterpart Funds, are utilized to finance various agricultural and fishery projects as well as environmental and socio-economic development projects.

Japan has assisted the Philippine Government in attaining food security by enhancing agricultural productivity in rural areas for four decades. (PNA)

LAP/GJB

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