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DA okays P3-B rural infra projects

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday the approved infrastructure projects under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) as of August jumped by more than twelve-fold to P3.02 billion from P230 million in December 2014.

These include the projects approved for implementation and are currently ongoing implementation under the infrastructure development, (I-BUILD), component of the PRDP.

Meanwhile, the total enterprise development (I-REAP) projects approved for funding this year doubled to P78.65 million—for 10 subprojects—from P35.88 million—for two subprojects—from the last month of 2014.

PRDP National Project Deputy Director Arnel de Mesa said in a statement that the total portfolio for I-BUILD rose by 240 percent to 37.39 billion, from P10.98 billion last year, while the total amount of I-REAP projects increased by 354 percent to P1.64 billion.

De Mesa said 75 out of 80 provinces in the country have already forged a memorandum of agreement with the DA under the PRDP, as compared to 58 provinces in December last year.

There are now 69 approved Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIPs) from only 28 in the last eight months, he said.

A PCIP is a strategic plan that rationalizes the interventions within the various segments of the value chain of commodities significant to the province and will contribute to the national goals of the agriculture and fishery sector.

Meanwhile, the approved Value Chain Analyses (VCAs) under the PRDP doubled from 16 last December to 33 as of date, according to de Mesa.

The VCA is a tool used to assess the status of a particular industry; the linkages and interplay of the different value-chain players; and identify upgrading strategies and interventions that could contribute to the development and strengthening of competitive advantage of the industry.

De Mesa reported that some of the approved VCAs are for ampalaya in Region 3; seaweeds in Regions 4B, 6 and 7, and the Mindanao cluster; dairy cattle in Region 4A; abaca in Regions 5 and 13; and cacao in Region 11 and the Mindanao cluster.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala urged project implementers to always put the farmers in the center of every subproject.

“PRDP is committed to deliver critical infrastructures and establish actual enterprises benefiting farmers and fishers,” Alcala said in a statement.

“It is important that the roads we approved are connected to national roads and other roads that will change the lives of our farmers,” he added.

A delegation from the World Bank, together with some PRDP officials, is currently visiting various project sites around the country to review and assess the implementation of subprojects.

The PRDP is a six-year national project that aims to establish a modern, inclusive, value chain- oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. It is implemented through the partnership of the DA, the World Bank and local government units.

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