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IFAD loans for PHL projects reach $100 million.

THE International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) has extended over $100 million in loans to the Philippine government as of December 2017.

In its annual report for 2017, Ifad also said it has invested as much as $2.2 billion in the region for 58 ongoing projects and programs.

In the Philippines, data obtained from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed that Ifad funded five ongoing projects costing $110.81 million as of December 2017.

'In the Philippines the evaluation found that Ifad and the government have created an effective partnership in their efforts to address rural poverty, and projects and programs have made notable achievements-for example, in gender equality and women's empowerment,' the report read.

'There is room to improve the evidence from monitoring and evaluation across the portfolio so that good practices can be scaled up,' it added.

The largest project of Ifad in the Philippines is the $32.16-million Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The project seeks to encourage fishing communities to adopt sustainable management of fishery and coastal resources to increase overall stocks. Its components include coastal resource management; livelihood development; and project management and coordination.

'The second component aims for fishing households in the target coastal communities to be constantly engaged in diversified sources of income,' according to documents from the Neda.

Two other projects worth over $20 million each are being implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the DA.

The DAR is implementing the $26.85-million Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project ConVERGE), while the DA is implementing with Ifad the $22.78-million Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMPII).

Project ConVERGE aims to enable the agrarian reform beneficiaries and other small farmers in 10 provinces of Regions 9, 10 and Caraga to become highly productive and competitive entrepreneurs and contribute to the achievement of broad-based rural

economic growth.

The project involves participatory value-chain analysis and planning to link smallholder farmers to existing value-chain systems; integrated smallholders agricultural and rural enterprise development; and project management, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge management.

CHARMPII involves social mobilization, participatory investment planning, and land titling and community watershed conservation, forest management and agro-forestry.

The project also includes agriculture, agribusiness development and income-generating activities; rural infrastructure development; and project management and coordination.

'Ifad invests 100 percent of its portfolio in rural areas of developing countries, where 80 percent of the world's poorest people live and work. This has been our mandate for 40 years, and we must never stop asking how we can deliver more, and deliver better, for the people we serve,' Ifad President Gilbert F. Houngbo said in the report.

Based on the report, Ifad has eight new programs and projects in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Tonga.

It has also extended additional financing for ongoing projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 28, 2018
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