UN Agency Commits $25-M For Poverty Reduction Projects In 11 Agrarian Reform Communities

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news national 2 pix 1 nov. 26 2015The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations has committed $25 million worth of agricultural projects starting in 2016 aimed at reducing poverty in 11 agrarian reform communities (ARCs).

IFAD Country Program Manager Benoit Thierry said over 300,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to 11 ARCs in regions 9, 11 and Caraga would benefit from the project called Convergence of Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (CONVERGE).

“Starting next year, various development projects will pour to these farm communities for the next six years,” Thierry said.

Thierry said the objective of CONVERGE is to enable ARBs and other smallholder farmers to become highly productive entrepreneurs. news national 2 pix 2 nov. 26 2015In partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Thierry said CONVERGE shall provide financing for farm inputs, tools, product packaging and capacity-building projects to increase the quantity and improve the quality of farmers’ commodity production. The project shall also link the farmers to the market.

“By linking farmers to the market, CONVERGE shall effective transform these farmers into active contributors to the achievement of broad-based rural economic growth,” said Thierry.

Thierry announced the CONVERGE project during the Knowledge and Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLM-PE) jointly organized by IFAD, DAR, the Dept. of Agriculture, civil society organizations and farmers’ organizations held on November 25, 2015 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Auditorium (BSWM) in Quezon City.

This year’s KLM-PE sessions focused on activities that highlight the importance of smallholder farmers in poverty reduction strategies.