DAVAO CITY — Seven Mindanao commodities are up for funding support by the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
Danilo T. Alesna, an engineer and PRDP-Mindanao deputy director, has said that the PRDP is finalizing the list of additional products that will be supported for development, which are: chevon (goat meat), tuna, sardines, virgin coconut oil (VCO), durian, mangosteen, and lanzones.
These commodities will be added to the initial 27 that have been approved since the start of the PRDP implementation in 2014.
A commodity can be included in the PRDP list if it is part of the value chain analysis and the Provincial Investment Commodity Plan of local governments
Tuna and sardines have been identified as commodities for General Santos City, and parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga regions.
Lanzones is cultivated in Northern Mindanao, particularly the island province of Camiguin.
Durian was identified by Davao City as its second commodity after cacao, while VCO is produced in the entire Davao region.
The two other products were identified by local government units in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Mangosteen is a Sulu product, while goat meat is produced in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
Earlier, Sulu and Tawi-tawi both identified seaweed as their priority commodity.
Mr. Alesna said there are some extra challenges in implementing PRDP sub-projects in the ARMM “because its areas are not contiguous.”
The ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur on mainland Mindanao and the BaSulTa, which stands for the Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi islands.
“For example, our supervisor cannot just go to Sulu in one day if he or she is supervising another project in Maguindanao,” he said.
Mr. Alesna said they are hoping to include more projects in the ARMM, but “what we do is we review, approve and fund these proposals; without the proposals we cannot do anything.”
He also noted that in the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), the forerunner of the PRDP, there were two supervisors assigned to the ARMM.
There is only one project supervisor for the region in the PRDP, which is a scaled-up and nationwide version of the MRDP.
The Department of Agriculture is the lead implementing agency for the program. — Carmelito Q. Francisco