National Convergence Initiative

Presentation Materials

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Agrarian Reform
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Collaboration for Enabling Local Economic Development


  • 1999, the National Convergence Initiative (NCI) was created through the joint efforts of the Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

  •  develop and operationalize a common framework for sustainable rural development (SRD) that will facilitate the convergence of the resources of the three agencies to maximize the impact on countryside development.
  •  complementation of agency initiatives within a defined area under a common intervention strategy is critical in maximizing impact, compared to a situation where these agencies would work independently.

Previous results: Fragmentation and duplication persisted

  • fragmented delivery of agriculture and rural development services persisted that made the governance of program implementation difficult and resulted to duplication that wasted the limited resources of government. 
  • majority of the target beneficiaries of the three agencies – famers, fisherfolks, upland dwellers and indigenous groups remained in the fringes of development; remain poor and continue to labor outside the emerging dynamic, modern markets that are available for the outputs from rural sector. 


Enhanced National Convergence Initiative (NCI)

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III administration committed to ensure countryside development as strategy for poverty reduction. Secretaries of DAR, DA DENR after assuming office in mid-2010 immediately launched the Enhanced the National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development.

  • Enhanced NCI promotes a framework of sustainable agriculture and rural development:
    •  integrates the people, their economy and their environment
    •  optimize resources, create substantial effect in the short-term 
    • make possible model-building across ecosystems, production systems, and rural poverty sectors/small producers in the long-term 
  • aimed to address the weaknesses and gaps that were experienced in convergence strategy in the past and take advantage of the agribusiness investment engagements that have been initiated which could engage the beneficiaries of the three departments and partake of the fruits from these investments.
  •  defines clear mechanisms for harmonization and complementation among the three agencies to avoid conflicting and overlapping policies that slows the implementation of programs and projects on the ground 
  • enhanced initiatives to make convergence work with the local government units are given a more pro-active role in identifying and implementing convergence initiatives at the local level. 


Ridge to Reef Strategy

  • NCI prescribed “Ridge to Reef” approach to improve the lives of the ARBs and small farmers, indigenous peoples, marginalized dwellers and fisherfolks (from upland and forest areas, in middle and lowland areas, down to the coastal areas) 

  • employed to address sustainable development of ecosystems that are within pilot provinces, cities and municipalities. 


Local Convergence Agro-enterprise Clusters 

  • Local Convergence Agro-enterprise Clusters - large tracks of agricultural lands with high production potential are targeted to contribute to local economic development. Limiting application of mono-cropping to more sustainable and financially rewarding integrated farming systems. 

  • Seven local convergence agro-enterprise clusters have already been launched in the provinces of Antique, Iloilo, Isabela,  Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Leyte and Quezon 


Common feature: presence of development-oriented local executives committed to pursue the  goal of improving the lives of the rural poor

  • Central Antique cluster composed of the municipalities of Bugasong, Laua-an, Patnongon, Valderrama, and B a rbaza was launched as the country' s model for natio nal convergence initiatives in October 2010 to spur local economic development with committed funds amounting to P331.8 Million for 2011. The focused commodities include rice, muscovado sugar, banana, abaca, peanut agro forestry and fisheries. Governor Exequiel Javier is an active partner in the local convergence program. 

  •  Iloilo, the NCI together with Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., has identified 13 municipalities surrounding the Jalaur River Basin to benefit with the convergence program of three government agencies. The agencies will ensure the rehabilitation of natural resources and ensure food security and livelihood in the towns to help alleviate rural poverty with P275.7 Million committed funds for 2011 (including the construction of the modern integrated processing complex granted to the province by the Korea International Cooperative Agency (KOICA) was the centerpiece of the launch with total project cost of US$4.0 Million) 

  • Isabela convergence cluster composed of 14 municipalities with rice, corn, coffee and cacao, and sugarcane (for ethanol) as main commodities with committed budget for 2011 amounting to P551 million. It attracted huge investments from the private sector like the hydro-power with a capacity to produce 100MW amounting to P12.9 Billion and post-harvest facilities amounting to P2.25 Billion from the Aboitiz Group, implementation of East Asia Climate Change Project amounting to PhP473.0 Million, also a grant from the KOICA, and implementation of the Dibuluan and Dabubu River irrigation projects amounting to PhP20.0 million.  Governor Faustino Dy, III of Isabela is the active local convergence partner 


  •  In Camarines Sur, Governor Luis Ray Villafuerte, Jr. emphasized the benefits from the convergence program and clustering of areas in the Baao-Bula-Ocampo-Pili-Tiagon area but also the Caramoan Cluster, Lagonoy Cluster, Presentacion and Libmanan Cluster taking into account crops indigenous in these areas as well as livelihood activities. Among the big projects that were committed for the convergence cluster were energy-related projects such as on solar power, wind power, bio-mass, and bamboo coal which will help provide cheaper sources of energy to the province. These were complemented by projects that will pursue coconut water processing and biotechnology information, education and technology exchange cooperation that attracted an estimated amount P429 Million.

  • Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee, with the father and son tandem of Salvador & Chiz Escodero, and the NCI identified the cluster of Sorsogon City, Castilla and Casiguran as convergence area. Focused commodities are: pineapple, coco


    nut & coco by-products, fruit and forest trees, pili, livestock  (both large and small animals) cassava, peanut and organic rice and mariculture. The initial committed budget was P167 Million.

  • A municipal convergence model was launched in Javier, Leyte with the dynamic leadership of Mayor Leonardo Javier. The agro-enterprise cluster composed of the municipality’s 28 barangays and is expected to impact on 4,598 farm households and develop 15,270 hectares. An indicative requirement of more than P197 million investments will develop the complete value chain on the identified priority crops/commodities such as rice, abaca, banana, ginger, jackfruit and coconut, including goat and carabao.

  • In Quezon, the dynamic duo of Gov. David Suarez and Cong. Mark Enverga launced the convergenc e cluster that includes the municipalities of Real, Infanta and Gen. Nakar (REINA).  With an initial commitment of the NCI of P66 M illion, the cluster will focus on the development of rice, coffee, cacao, fisheries and agro-foresty.

  • In the next two months, the convergence clusters in the provinces of Northern Samar, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte will follow.

  • The launched convergence clusters have undergone rigorous evaluation of their financial and economic viability; estimated job generated is close to 200,000.


Participatory Local Planning with Stakeholders

  • launch of each cluster as NCI is the culmination series of consultation in the province and planning workshops to put together an investment plan that reflect the needs to make the clusters to attain sustainable economic development
  • considered the completeness of ecosystem zones/landscape, watersheds, forests, very productive lands and coastal areas characterize the rural landscape
  • convergence sites cut across these various ecosystems. Also, combination of sites across major poverty groups  small farmers/agricultural workers including potential and current ARB, fishers, indigenous peoples and rural women were targeted
  • Led by these local executives, the planning of the agro-enterprise clusters is participated by:
    • officers and workers of the DA, DAR, DENR and other government development agencies, academic institutions and the private sector
    • representatives of the farmers’ organizations, both agrarian reform beneficiaries and other small farmers, fisherfolk organizations, and women’s groups: consistent with the government's philosophy to encourage communities to participate in their own development.


Initial Gains of NCI

  • With the demonstrated support of various stakeholders outside DA, DAR, and DENR in the enhanced national convergence initiative, there no doubt that it will re-ignite the spirit of community development and self-reliance among the people of these convergence clusters.
  • The government, through DA, DAR and DENR, is confident that the convergence initiative will further contribute to reduction of poverty. The expressed interest, actual support and ownership of local government units, the private sector and communities in convergence activities is an indication of likelihood of sustaining the local development activity through convergence.