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DOF: PH secured $1.6B ODA for agri support in first year of Marcos admin

The Philippines has secured over a billion dollars worth of official development assistance (ODA) financing for the development of the country’s agriculture sector during the first year of the Marcos administration, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Saturday.

“Within the first year of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., we have secured more than $1.6 billion in ODA financing for agriculture-related programs and projects,” said Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Among the ODA financing was the $500 million loan agreement of the Philippines with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the Competitive and Inclusive Agriculture Development Program (Subprogram 2), which aims to increase the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the agriculture sector.

The Finance Department also inked loan agreements with the World Bank (WB) amounting to $876 million to develop the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

The first loan deal with the WB was the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), which aims to sustainably increase the agricultural productivity, resiliency, and accessibility to markets and services of organized farmers and fisherfolks in selected ancestral domains and for selected value chains in Mindanao.

The second loan financing was the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project, which aims to improve fisheries management, enhance the value of fisheries production, and elevate incomes in selected coastal communities.

The third is the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up, which aims to boost farmer and fisherfolk access to markets, increase income from selected agri-fishery value chains, and improve efficiency in the food supply chain.

These projects are guided by the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, which is a plan to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction by steering the economy back on a high-growth path, according to Diokno.

Chapter 5 of the PDP focuses on modernizing agriculture and agribusiness which should result in enhanced production in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (AFF) sector, expanded access to markets and AFF-based enterprises, improved resilience of AFF value chains, and strengthened agricultural institutions.

Meanwhile, the Inter-agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO), co-chaired by the DOF and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is in charge of overseeing the inflation situation in the country with the goal of maintaining price stability by intensifying supply-side interventions and demand-side management measures.

Serving as the concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has put a premium on food security since the beginning of the administration.

Diokno said “this entails taking advantage of economies of scale in production, increasing infrastructure in the agriculture sector, and providing extended financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), farmers, and fisherfolks.”

The government aims to improve production efficiency through the adoption of modern technologies and infrastructure projects that support agricultural processes such as farm-to-market roads that aid the transport of farm inputs and products from farms to trading centers, according to the Finance chief.

“Transforming the country’s agriculture sector into an engine of sustainable and inclusive growth is no easy feat. It will require the combined strengths, insights, and resources of the public and private sectors,” said Diokno. —VAL, GMA Integrated News