The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), which is anticipated to benefit 300,000 rural households in specified locations across the country, has received further World Bank funding.
The World Bank stated on Friday that its board of executive directors had approved a $280 million (about P13.54 billion) extra loan and an 18.3 million (almost P1.05 billion) euro grant for the PRDP.
According to the Washington-based multilateral lender, the funding will support 267 climate-resilient rural infrastructure and 287 enterprise development subprojects in order to boost rural incomes and strengthen planning and implementation capacities among local governments and producer organizations.
This additional funding will be used to address agriculture’s climate vulnerability through a variety of investments, including rural roads built to withstand severe weather events to ensure continuous connectivity and access to markets; and communal irrigation subprojects to address water scarcity and reduce the risk of large-scale crop failure.
Other planned investments include warehouse facilities and solar dryers to prevent post-harvest crop losses, as well as greenhouses to protect selected crops from severe heat and aid improved water management.
“This project boosts the country’s efforts to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity by targeting investments in agriculture, which is a major source of livelihood and income in the rural areas,” Ndiame Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, said.
The World Bank remarked that this new funding builds on the benefits made by the PRDP, which was implemented by the Department of Agriculture beginning 2014.
Using provincial and city commodity investment plans, value chain analyses, and suitable production areas, the Agriculture department assists provincial, city, and municipal governments in their planning processes, as well as the implementation and delivery of services, rural infrastructure, and enterprise development.
The additional fund also expands the program’s reach by aiding more local governments in Mindanao that are afflicted by poverty and conflict, according to the World Bank.
At this time, 454 rural infrastructure sub-projects have been approved, with 261 of them having been completed, assisting 608,887 families. A total of 1,229 kilometers of farm-to-market roads have been built, with another 859 kilometers under construction.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA