A top official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has announced that they are set to launch the Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE) project worth P2.2 billion in three regions in Mindanao.
DAR regional director Felix Aguhob said the regions are Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.
Aguhob said the project, which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), is set to be launched on January 21 until 22 in Cagayan de Oro City.
Aguhob said the project aims to reduce poverty through the promotion of sustainable livelihood activities based on key commodities such as rice, rubber, coffee, cassava and coco sugar that are deemed competitive in the three regions.
Aguhob said that P1.02 billion of the P2.2-billion ConVERGE project will be implemented in the region, benefiting 17 towns in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay.
He said that P136.6 million of the P1.02-billion worth of projects will be implemented in the towns of Aurora, Dumingag, Josefina, Mahayag, Molave, Ramon Magsaysay and Tambulig in Zamboanga del Sur.
The projects that would benefit 1,053 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) include the construction of post-harvest facilities, improvement of rural infrastructures, production and marketing of rice, capability building, and procurement of farm equipment.
Zamboanga del Norte will get a share of P642.6-million worth of rubber production projects that will be implemented in the municipalities of Godod, Tampilisan, Leon Postigo, and Salug that would benefit 4,200 ARBs.
The municipalities of Kabasalan, Naga, Ipil, R.T. Lim, Tungawan, and Titay in Zamboanga Sibugay will receive P247.2-million worth of rubber projects that will benefit 8,222 ARBs and 1,513 women beneficiaries.
Aguhob said the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will assist the beneficiaries in the implementation of the project.