P810-M fund for water, other agri infra projects available

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - Manual) (Sherwin B.

DAVAO CITY - Critical for agricultural productivity, but water projects like irrigation, potable water systems and other agricultural infrastructure have few takers.

According to the portfolio of Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), about P810 million remaining funds for water and other infrastructures are waiting for proposals.

“Demands for farm-tomarket roads (FMR) have exceeded its allocation. The budget has been saturated,” said PRDP Mindanao Program Support Office Director Lealyn Ramos.

PRDP has P337 million allocated for communal irrigation projects and potable water systems. Another P473 million for other infrastructure projects which cover production facilities, post-harvest facilities, solar driers, slope stabilization works, tram lines, even fish landings for fishing communities.

These projects will be designed as climate-resilient infrastructures as adaptation mechanisms to climate change.

Ramos said that other agri-related infrastructures in the farms are as necessary as FMR in the aim to holistically bolster farmers’ productivity. “We need to improve especially on our post-harvest facilities to minimize losses of harvest and provide proper storage areas to avoid wastage. Doing so, increases net income of farmers,” she said.

“It is understandable that LGUS will focus to improve the connectivity of their production areas to the town center. However we cannot reallocate funds for water and other infra to FMRS because this is part of our loan agreement with World Bank,” she added.

The PRDP’S Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistic for Development component aims to improve road networks, increase productivity from irrigation and water supply systems and lower post-harvest losses.

“We hope to get proposals by the end of August so that we still have enough time to process them,” Ramos said.

Under PRDP, LGUS get most value for their investments because of the 90-10 equity sharing where the national government takes the higher percentage of the project cost.

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