THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is discussing $840 million worth of assistance with the World Bank to supplement funding for various programs, including one focused on providing agriculture extension services.
“Yung PRDP ay dagdagan ng budget (The Philippine Rural Development Project will have additional funding). We are going to develop and negotiate with them almost half a billion pesos for provincial agricultural extension following the inclusive agribusiness approach,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar told reporters Tuesday in Quezon City.
“A Provincial Agricultural Extension System following an inclusive agribusiness strategy will be the project we will do with the World Bank,” he said in a speech, adding that the department, provincial governments, and municipalities will be working together to come up with joint plan to establish the system all over the country.
Agricultural extension is the process of bringing the findings of agricultural research to farmers.
The Provincial Agricultural Extension System empowers provincial governments develop their own agriculture programs and policies, with the goal of spreading prosperity in their jurisdictions.
Mr. Dar said that discussions for the assistance are ongoing.
“We are at that stage and positive naman ang discussion (the discussions are positive). The commitments (will happen within) the next two weeks. I will meet with the country representative of World Bank,” he said.
Mr. Dar added that the government “will work out in the next two weeks or so an additional $240 million” to be allocated to the PRDP, a six-year national project under the DA jointly funded by the World Bank and local government units (LGUs).
The PRDP aims to establish up-to-date, value-chain oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries industries.
Since its implementation, the program has taken up $760 million in funding.
Mr. Dar said the DA is also discussing funding worth $100 million for the development of Mindanao agriculture. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang