PRDP backs Mindanao growers with nearly P400M

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DAVAO CITY — Funding worth P398.63 million from the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has been allocated for 84 enterprise projects covering 15 commodities in Mindanao.

In a statement released over the weekend, the PRDP-Mindanao office said 77 of these projects, accounting for P363.16 million, have been approved while the rest are still being processed.

The PRDP is mainly financed by the World Bank with counterpart funding from the national government and implemented through the Department of Agriculture as lead agency.

The 15 commodities, which are covered under the PRDP’s Investment for Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Productivity (I-REAP), are abaca, banana, milk fish, cacao, cassava, coconut, oil palm, coffee, dairy, goat, mango, organic rice, rubber, seaweed and swine.

The I-REAP component of the program addresses the enterprise aspect of the crops being developed.

The south-central Mindanao area, or the South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos City (Soccsksargen) Region, took up the largest share of the enterprise budget at P123.49 million for 11 projects.

This covers the development of coffee in Tupi, South Cotabato, with the funding granted to the Tupi Coffee Growers Association, Inc. (TCGAI), specifically production improvement and marketing of dried green coffee beans.

“Through this project, we hope that the value of coffee farming and the lives of coffee farmers in the province will be elevated. Hopefully with PRDP, coffee growers in the entire South Cotabato would benefit and gain appreciation on the value of coffee as commodity,” said TCGAI President Marcos Gabat in the PRDP statement.

For the other regions, Caraga is receiving P69.57 million for nine projects; Northern Mindanao with P62.1 million for 33 projects; Davao with P56.30 million for seven projects; Western Mindanao (or Zamboanga Peninsula) with P28.43 million for seven projects; and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with P23.26 million for 10 projects. — Carmelito Q. Francisco