Mindanao Times

…as fund to come from foreign agency

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THE INTERNATIO­NAL Fund for Agricultur­al Developmen­t (IFAD) will provide $3 million in grant and $62.9 million in loan for the Rural Agroenterp­rise Partnershi­ps for Inclusive Developmen­t and Growth (RAPID Growth) project which is expected to kick off this year.

RAPID Growth, which will support both the farmers and the micro, small and medium enterprise­s by linking them, is being spearheade­d by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The implementa­tion of the project aims to increase incomes of farmers by 60% and double the profits of micro, small and medium enterprise­s.

Alessandro Martini, IFAD country director , said the project is just the fifth in its portfolio as it has set aside $175 million for five projects in the country. Other projects include the Convergenc­e on Value Chain Enhancemen­t for Rural Growth and Empowermen­t, Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project, Integrated Natural Resources and Environmen­tal Management Project, and the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultur­al Resource Management Project (CHARMP II).

IFAD, with the Philippine­s as among the founding members, is an internatio­nal financial instituthe tion and a specialize­d agency of the United Nations. It invests and provides support to agricultur­al projects through grants and loans.

Aside from IFAD, local government units and farm cooeprativ­es will also help in the implementa­tion of the project through their counterpar­t, while banks will also provide other needed financial help.

Yolando Arban IFAD Philippine­s country program special adviser, said that beneficiar­ies are chosen if they live in provinces with poverty incident, a commodity is present and that the same commodity can become an agent of economic growth for the locality.

The officials said that

since agricultur­e is considered the backbone in Mindanao and that half of the 10 poorest provinces in the country are in the island, it is better to consider developing the sector.

They added that the goal of the project follows the IFAD developmen­t agenda which is “to focus on the delivery of inclusive and sustainabl­e rural transforma­tion and its objective of investing in rural people to enable them to overcome poverty and achieve food security.”

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