The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) headed by Minister Mohammad S. Yacob, Ph.D., together with PRDP RPCO-BARMM Deputy Director Ammal D. Solaiman, JD, and MIADP RPCO-BARMM Deputy Project Director Tong D. Pinguiaman, Ph.D., joined hands with the Department of Agriculture in the launching of the three World Bank-Funded projects on November 6, 2023, in Quezon City.

The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up, the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), and the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project were inaugurated with a grand event graced by the newly appointed Department of Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.

“It is the goal of this administration and all of its agencies and instrumentalities to bring about a comprehensive holistic and sustainable transformation of our nation. The center of this transformation strategy are the government efforts in developing agricultural sector,” said Sec. Laurel.

Launching these three projects represents a longstanding partnership between the Philippines and the World Bank. It marks a significant milestone in the Philippines’ commitment to enhancing agricultural productivity and food security.

In his address, the World Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, Dr. Ndiamé Diop, expressed his honor in celebrating the launch of the three projects that promise a transformative impact on the agricultural sector in the Philippines. He congratulated the Department of Agriculture for its dedication to ensuring food security for all Filipinos.

Dr. Diop highlighted the critical role of agriculture and food security in the country’s development plan, emphasizing their significance in accelerating poverty reduction and human capital improvement. He underscored the challenges faced by farmers and fisherfolk due to climate change, stressing the need for increased support in the face of rising vulnerabilities to natural calamities.

“The projects being launched today align closely with the Bank’s new global mission to help countries eliminate poverty on a livable planet,” Dr. Diop said, providing insights into the key features of each project:

The Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency Project (FishCoRe) aims to impact over 1.2 million fisherfolk and coastal communities positively. It focuses on reforming the sector, enhancing fishery management, reducing overfishing, and improving value chains to increase competitiveness.

The Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP) targets improving living conditions for Indigenous Peoples through enhanced infrastructure, access to services, and reduced vulnerability to disasters. It is expected to benefit around 120,000 farmers and fisherfolk in Mindanao.

The PRDP Scale-Up, building on the success of a longstanding rural development project, aims to cover all 82 provinces, providing agri-fishery services and assets. It will directly benefit more than 1 million farmers across the country.

Dr. Diop emphasized that all three projects align with the Department of Agriculture’s strategic priorities, focusing on critical infrastructure, post-harvest facilities, and integration of farmers and fisherfolks into value chains and markets. Additionally, the projects aim to support climate-resilient agricultural and fishery practices.

Moreover, Dr. Diop congratulated the Department of Agriculture for achieving this major milestone and expressed the World Bank’s commitment to supporting the country’s agriculture and food security goals. He looked forward to collaborative efforts in achieving a more sustainable and resilient future for the sector.

In addition, MAFAR-BARMM received a certificate from DA-PRDP signifying the proposed Concreting of Brgy. Bacayawan-Pagalongan-Mapantao-Dinganun Farm to Market Road by the municipality of Sultan Dumalondong, Lanao del Sur, was eligible for funding under the PRDP Scale-Up.