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P180-M support to farmers to develop abaca industry in Agusan del Norte.

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY - The Agusan del Norte government utilized a P180-million fund to expand and develop the abaca industry and its related commodities to support the farmers, said Joie L. Ceballos, regional spokesperson of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), today.

He added that the San Isidro Upland Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO) and 20 other agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in the municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago, all in Agusan del Norte are the most benefited of the support.

DAR Agusan del Norte provincial director Andre Atega also said Project ConVERGE or Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Development is investing (P180 million) to develop the abaca industry and related commodities in the province involving SIUFMULCO and 20 ARBOs in the province.

SIUFMULCO takes pride of its current assets amounting to P30 million.

It was formerly assisted by the Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project (NMCIREMP) implemented by DAR and financed by IFAD and by the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Program (RuMEPP) implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is also financed by IFAD, Atega said, in a statement.

Currently, there are two ongoing IFAD financed projects in Agusan del Norte - the Project ConVERGE implemented by DAR in the ARC cluster of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago; and FishCORAL (Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood) implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in coastal communities around Butuan Bay.

Recently (May 5-6), officials and technical men of the IFAD, an international development financing institution based in Rome, Italy, visited the SIUFMULCO area.

The delegates led by Charlotte Salford, IFAD associate vice president for external relations and governance department and Wei Wang, IFAD director for APL and special adviser to the IFAD president were very pleased to hear the success story how SIUFMULCO has grown over the years, Atega added.

ConVERGE, a US$52-million project implemented in 10 provinces in Mindanao, aims to increase the profitability of agrarian reform beneficiaries and small holder farmers.

IFAD's FishCORAL project estimates that around P80 million will be allocated to improve the marine resources and fishing communities in Butuan Bay.

The US$43-million project, intends to improve marine resources and the livelihood of fishing communities in 11 bays nationwide.

Jerry Pacturan, IFAD country program officer, was also happy to announce that around US$66-million funding for the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnerships for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID) project was approved by the IFAD executive board in its meeting in April 2018.

RAPID will be implemented by DTI in 20 provinces in Mindanao, including Agusan del Norte, and in Eastern Visayas.

RAPID aims to sustainably increase the income of small farmers and unemployed rural women and men across selected value chains.

With the approval of RAPID by the National Economic and Development Authority Board on April 24, DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Zenaida Maglaya is very hopeful that RAPID will kick off on the ground by July 2018.


Abaca (PHOTO: Grabbed from Wikimedia Commons | Manila Bulletin)
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Title Annotation:Mindanao
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 11, 2018
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