THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it requested a $200-million loan from the World Bank which will support the modernization of the fisheries industry.

In a statement Monday, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the loan will help provide technical support and capital for the industry.

The loan will also support efforts to achieve sustainability of the resource, and address socio-economic conditions in coastal communities.

“The funds will directly contribute to achieving key outcomes in the DA’s Food Security Framework which is integral to the national goals of recovery and resiliency as we survive, reboot and grow in the wake of the pandemic,” Mr. Dar said.

Mr. Dar targets loan approval by mid-2021.

The DA tasked the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to implement the proposed fisheries project across the 12 Fisheries Management Areas nationwide.

“The management areas include the country’s major fishing grounds, lakes, bays, gulfs and other areas that may be delineated for fishery resource management purposes, approximate stock boundaries, range, distribution, and structure,” the DA said.

Mr. Dar directed the BFAR to submit a project feasibility study by November, in time for a presentation to World Bank officials in June 2021.

The fisheries project addresses fisheries and coastal-area resiliency planning, resource management, livelihood investment, and project management.

The DA said if the $200-million loan is approved, the target implementation date is October 2021. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave