DAR launches P2.2-B project for rural growth and empowerment

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Z WEB 20160128 NATL CARAGA DEL PHOTOThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently launched Project ConVERGE or Convergence on Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment as the new partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Cagayan de Oro City.
The P2.2 billion project will 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 the ConVeRGE is a levelled-up DAR-IFAD project that would help farmers boost their agricultural products –  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, on the other hand, 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.
DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang revealed that four (4) provinces in Caraga and their commodities would be assisted by ConVerge. These are the abaca of Agusan del Norte, rice of Agusan Sur, coconuts of Surigao del Norte and coffee of Surigao Sur.
The ceremony was also attended by Regional Director Faisar Mambuay, Regional Director Felix Aguhob, IFAD Country Program Officer Yolando Arban, Director Celerina Afable, and other project stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries. (Joei Ceballos)