WB to co-finance $231-M agrarian reform project

on . Posted in DAR In The News
manila bulletin blue logoThe World Bank (WB)said that it will co-finance the $231-million agrarian reform project aimed at strengthening the capacity of farmer organizations, enhance the competitiveness of communities and nearby areas, as well as improve their access to markets. In a statement, the Washington-based lender said the World Bank financing will comprise $99.3 million of the $231 million project, as approved by the institution’s board of executive directors.

The five year project, or the Inclusive Partnerships for Agricultural Competitiveness (IPAC), will be implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and will support farmer organizations to improve productivity and the quality of products. It also aims to find more markets in order to raise farmers’ incomes.

According to the World Bank, around 300,000 farmers and farm workers are expected to benefit from a new government project designed to enhance the competitiveness of agrarian reform communities.

The project will be rolled out among agrarian reform community clusters across 44 provinces in the Philippines.

“The country’s agrarian reform program gives lands to landless farmers, but we don’t stop there. The government also provides support services,” Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said in a statement.

“Through the farmer-driven matching grants, IPAC will strengthen our efforts to help small-holder farmers and their organizations engage in sustainable agri-enterprise projects. This will raise their incomes and help them become self-reliant,” he added.

The matching grants, which are channeled through farmers’ organizations, support a number of initiatives, including: production facilities such as nurseries and green-houses; processing and marketing facilities; production of high-value agricultural products; promotion and investments in food safety; and product development.

“Through the project, farmers and other beneficiaries will be able to directly identify and implement activities that will empower them to improve their lives,” World Bank Country Director for the Philippines Mara K. Warwick said.

“As a long-term partner of the Philippines, the World Bank supports the country’s efforts to develop a competitive farming sector that may bring down poverty and vulnerability in rural areas,” she added.

The project builds on previous community-driven development projects supported by the World Bank which provided farmers and rural communities with basic infrastructure, including irrigation systems, roads and bridges.

These initiatives also helped farmers improved their ability to manage their enterprises.

Source: http://business.mb.com.ph/2017/06/12/wb-to-co-finance-231-m-agrarian-reform-project/