The Department of Agriculture (DA) has received firm commitment from World Bank (WB) to finance four proposed projects aimed at enhancing agri-fishery extension systems, providing livelihood assistance to fisherfolk and indigenous peoples (IPs), and updating the national farmers' registry system.

"Within our first 100 days in office, we received the World Bank's nod to bankroll several projects that highlight our 'new thinking' for agriculture," said agriculture secretary William Dollente Dar.

"The proposed projects are on top of the extension of the current World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) worth $280M," added Dar, who personally received WB's firm commitment from Philippines country director Mara Warwick.

The proposed projects include the: $200-million provincial agricultural and fishery extension delivery system; $200-million coastal resilience and fisheries development project; and $100-million Mindanao inclusive agriculture development project.

The first project is a new proposal, while the last two are being evaluated by the WB.

The DA also proposes to update and enhance the registry system for basic sectors in agriculture (RSBSA) that will contain, among other information, a reliable list of legitimate farmers and fishers nationwide.

"With an updated RSBSA, we will be able to focus the delivery of needed services and initiatives to our clienteles -- most especially small farmers and fisherfolk -- more effectively and efficiently," said Secretary Dar.

"We will strive to make all our agricultural, fishery and agribusiness projects inclusive. market-oriented and sustainable," said Dar.

He added the DA will also ask the WB to provide technical assistance on critical policy matters such as on crafting a rice value chain industry roadmap.

The DA chief presented and discussed the proposed projects with WB officials led by Warwick, operations manager Achim Fock, sustainable development program leader Madhu Raghunath, and lead rural development specialist Carolina Figueroa-Geron.

The WB is among the first international financial organizations that offered support to Secretary Dar, further solidifying its partnership with the DA. ###


Noel Ocampo Reyes
DA Spokesperson
& A/Sec for Communications & Media Affairs

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