The Philippine government and the World Bank signed a $600-million (roughly P33.3 billion) loan agreement to help modernize the agriculture and fisheries sector.
It will fund the Philippine Rural Development Project Scale-Up that aims to transform agriculture into a modernized and industrialized sector through public infrastructure interventions and strengthening the commodity value chain.
The World Bank and the Department of Finance, on behalf of the government, signed the deal on July 7, 2023.
The government will contribute $218 million for the $818-million (P45.01 billion) project which is a major initiative of the Department of Agriculture in response to the persistent challenges confronting the sector and rural communities.
It will boost farmer and fisherfolk access to markets, increase income from selected agri-fishery value chains and improve efficiency in the food supply chain.
The project will cover 16 regions composed of 82 provinces, with focus on areas where about half of the Philippines’ 109.03-million people reside.
It will involve direct investments in rural infrastructure and enterprise sub-projects, which will directly benefit about 450,000 farmers and fisherfolk and generate about 42,000 new jobs.
Upon the completion of the project, the DA aims to facilitate its transition into a regular locally-funded program to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the project’s interventions.