The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has launched a P2.2-billion project to boost agricultural productivity, particularly in rice, coconut and coffee plantations in Regions 9, 10 and 13 (Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga region.
The Convergence on Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project ConVERGE) is a new partnership between DAR and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The P2.2-billion project is expected to benefit over 300,000 farmers including 38,700 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the 11 agrarian reform community clusters in various provinces of Regions 9, 10 and 13.
DAR Undersecretary for Foreign-Assisted Special Project Herman Ongkiko said ConVERGE is a levelled-up DAR-IFAD project that would help farmers from production to marketing, trading and even recycling.
“Through this project we can help them rise from poverty and secure food on their tables,” Ongkiko said.
IFAD Manager for Southeast Asia Benoit Thierry said he believes that the sincerity and dedication of project implementers to undertake the program would be instrumental in improving the living conditions of the ARBs.