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World Bank OKs $100-M loan for Mindanao agri development 

The World Bank announced on Saturday that it had approved a $100-million loan to boost agricultural development in Mindanao.
In a statement, the Washington-based multilateral lender said its board of executive directors approved the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP).
Around 120,000 farmers and fisherfolk in selected ancestral domains in Mindanao are set to benefit as the program aims to increase agricultural productivity, resilience, and services while also protecting the natural resources of these ancestral domains.
The World Bank said that Mindanao contributes 33.4% of the total value of agricultural production in the Philippines, exceeded by Luzon at 39.2% and followed by Visayas at 27.4%.
The southern Philippine main island has a considerable amount of agricultural land in ancestral domains that remains unused or under subsistence cultivation by indigenous peoples, the lender said.

The bank said several barriers hinder development in ancestral domains, including inadequate road infrastructure, frequent landslides causing extended periods of isolation, and limited access to technical services, markets, finance, electricity, the internet, and telephone services.
The MIADP will fund infrastructure investments to help address some of these barriers and foster stronger connections between ancestral domains and markets.
These will include the rehabilitation or restoration of roads and bridges, the installation of agricultural tramline systems, and the construction of small-scale and solar-powered irrigation systems.

In addition, the project will provide potable water systems and post-harvest facilities such as storage units and trading posts.

“Mindanao is home to about 25% of the Philippines’ population but accounts for 35% of the country’s poor,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
“Poverty in indigenous cultural communities is even higher, with 68% living below the poverty line. Initiatives that aim to improve people’s living conditions while actively involving them are vital for strengthening inclusive growth in the country,” he added.
The Department of Agriculture will manage and implement MIADP.
Implementing partners include the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for the ancestral domains in the five regions of Mindanao and the relevant BARMM ministries for the ancestral domains in the BARMM areas. — VBL, GMA Integrated News