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P100-M GRANT FOR DA PROGRAM GETS ADB OK – DAR

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $2-million (P100 million) grant to support the Philippine Competitive and Inclusive Agriculture Development Program (CIADP2) that will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The CIADP2 aims to reduce income inequality by expanding economic opportunities in the country’s farm-fishery sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virtual launching ceremony, ADB Philippine Country Director Kelly Bird signed the grant agreement with Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The proposed technical assistance package is funded by the Japanese government through its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

“We assure them that the grant will be efficiently used to assist our ‘OneDA Family’ in implementing key policy actions.”

“We sincerely thank the ADB and the Japanese government for their generosity. We assure them that the grant will be efficiently used to assist our ‘OneDA Family’ in implementing key policy actions under the CIADP2, particularly such initiatives as farm consolidation and clustering, impact assessment of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), conduct of rapid analyses of key agriculture commodities, and boost efforts in mainstreaming gender in implementation,” Dar said.

The bulk of the grant, or $1.493 million, will be used to establish rice-based cluster farm models in selected areas — at two each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao — to showcase the farm and fishery consolidation and clustering (F2C2) program.

“The aim of the farm clustering is to replicate the lessons learned from relevant projects or other undertakings in the Philippines.”

“The aim of the farm clustering is to replicate the lessons learned from relevant projects or other undertakings in the Philippines, highlighting the importance of the participation of LGUs and private sector as partners,” the agriculture chief stressed.

It will also apply cluster farming technologies used by more advanced countries like Japan, as well as neighboring rice-exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand, the agriculture head said.

Part of the grant, or at least $250,000, will be used to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the RTL implementation and its impacts on the rice market, industry stakeholders (farmers, millers, traders, and consumers), and the government’s role in the rice sector.

The evaluation will also cover the mid-term evaluation of the RCEF.

The remaining amount will be used for the conduct of rapid analyses of key agriculture commodities (e.g., coconut, sugar, and pork) for timely decision-making on key agricultural policy issues, establish a centralized database for key agricultural commodities at the DA, and assist relevant government agencies in achieving gender targets in all four concerned policy actions under CIADP 2, ensuring that the program implementation will include gender mainstreaming.

The CIADP is a $400-million policy-based loan, in line with the 2017−2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP), which aims to support government’s efforts to increase the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the agriculture sector by implementing agricultural trade policy and regulatory reforms, enhance public services and finance for the sector, and increase social protection for rural families who may be affected by the reforms. 

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