DAVAO CITY — The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has approved P890 million worth of projects for several municipalities in Davao del Sur province as well as Davao City, with more than 90% of the funds allocated for farm-to-market roads and.
In a brief released last week, PRDP said P834 million is under the program’s Intensified Building up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component, and will be used mainly “to achieve efficient transportation of agri products” that will benefit 15,675 households.
The road projects, some of which are already being implemented, will improve links to and from the towns of Hagonoy, Malalag, Magsaysay, and Sulop.
Another infrastructure project under the I-BUILD budget involves setting up post-harvest facilities, particularly 14 warehouses with solar dryers, in the rice farming town of Matanao.
The rest of the approved funds are under the Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) component, which will support the development and marketing of processed products.
Among the P56-million I-REAP budget recipients are the Cardava Banana Consolidation and Marketing Enterprise and the Organic Fairtrade Banana Chips Processing group, both in Davao del Sur.
The rest are in Davao City, covering groups involved in tablea processing, chocolate processing, cacao production and marketing of dry fermented beans, and abaca processing and marketing.
“We need to fast-track our implementation so that we can achieve our objectives to increase the income of our farmers and household beneficiaries in the agri-fishery sector and to develop a more market-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture,” said PRDP-Mindanao Project Director Ricardo M. Oñate Jr.
These projects are expected to increase the market value of “banana by 100% per kilogram, rice by 40%, corn by 39%, and coconut by 64%.”
The World Bank-funded PRDP, with the Department of Agriculture as lead implementing agency, was launched in 2014 with an initial budget of P27 billion and a six-year project life.
It has been extended to 2024 with an additional funding of $450 million approved in 2018. — Carmelito Q. Francisco