THE Department of Agriculture (DA) launched three projects funded by the World Bank aimed at making farms and fisheries more climate-resilient.

“All these three projects will support the development of a more climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector in the Philippines,” World Bank Country Director for the Philippines Ndiame Diop said.

According to the DA, the World Bank invested a combined $920 million in the projects. These are the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale Up, Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), and the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency Project (FISHCORE).

The PRDP Scale Up will be allocated $600 million, FISHCORE $200 million, and MIADP $120 million.

“Implementing these projects in the Philippines is hard work, but we are committed to supporting the DA … and working with all the stakeholders to get the projects implemented,” Mr. Diop added.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary and Spokesman Arnel V. de Mesa said that the three projects are aimed at focusing, organizing, and clustering farmers and fisherfolk associations, and indigenous peoples’ organizations.

The objective is “to engage agri-fishery activities (and consolidate) their production to attain economies of scale,” Mr. De Mesa added.

The agency will also collaborate with the private sector for better market linkages and technology access and to sustain partnerships with local governments “for more aligned national and local priorities in agriculture development.”

“All of these would run for about six years,” he told reporters at the sidelines.

The DA has awarded funding to 20 projects of P4 billion to build agricultural infrastructure like farm-to-market roads, water systems, and warehouses.

“The MIADP and FISHCORE will probably start next year, but the PRDP Scale Up has projects in its pipeline, so project bidding could start this year,” he said. — Adrian H. Halili