WB, DA start week-long review on rural dev’t program

February 4, 2013 11:40 pm 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Feb. 4 — The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the World Bank (WB) kicked off Monday a week-long review mission for the second phase of DA’s Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) and evaluation for the proposed Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).

PRDP is a six year national government platform, which is also a nationwide replication of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) approach, where innovations are used to address climate change and to make rural development more effective.

This program aims to increase farmers’ income in agri-fishery sector in program areas and develop a more market-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fishery sector in program areas.

It will receive a joint funding from the WB worth $ 501.25 million (from loan proceeds by the WB) and $ 7.00 million (from a grant given by the WB), from the DA worth $ 87.29 million and from local government units worth $ 79.05 million.

“MDRP and PRDP are two important programs that aim to help us attain and sustain sufficient and affordable food for our people,” Alcala said in a message during the kickoff meeting.

He explained that these are programs that were designed to increase farmers’ and fishers’ income through investments in climate-smart physical and ecological infrastructure and in broad-based, value-adding enterprises.

“With these programs, we aim not only to improve agriculture but also improve the way we do agriculture,” he said.

Meanwhile, WB Sector Manager for East Asia and the Pacific for social, environment and rural development, Iain Shuker said the funding was the ultimate objective to reduce rural poverty.

“Since 70 percent of the poor people live in rural areas, the whole idea of this project is to provide infrastructure, better livelihoods, and better marketing opportunities for rural people so they can have an increase in income,” Shuker said.

Meanwhile, MRDP-PRDP deputy director, Arnel de Mesa explained in a presentation that the PRDP was to contribute to national development goals.

He said the value of market output is increased by 20 percent in the program areas. Real farm and fishery household incomes both on and off farm are increased by 10 percent in the program areas at the end of the program.

Also, farm household with improved access to technologies and information are increased by 20 percent in the program areas.

The PRDP will also contribute to the attainment of the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) through the construction and rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems covering 30, 206 hectares which represents 6.91 percent of the total FSSP irrigation target of 437, 077 hectares for 2012 to 2016.

Overall, PRDP’s employment creation is estimated at 5.902 million person-days per year over the productive life of the infrastructure and enterprise projects.

Preparation for PRDP started June 2012 and ended last month. At present, it awaits approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) this month or March this year. (PNA)

FPV/ANP

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