TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Development Council (RDC) has endorsed four key projects meant for the recovery of Eastern Visayas’ farming sector, which has borne the brunt of the health crisis.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the RDC secretariat, announced on Friday that the council’s executive committee endorsed funding for the projects during its meeting last October 29.
These projects are the USD280-million Philippine Rural Development Project’s (PRDP) second additional financing for the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19); the Solar-Powered Fertigation System Project (SPFSP); the One Eastern Visayas Food Security and Agricultural Development Plan; and the proposed one-year extension of the Fisheries, Coastal Resources, and Livelihood (FishCORAL).
“These projects were endorsed by the body since these are crucial contributors to the post-Covid-19 recovery of Eastern Visayas,” NEDA 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Bonifacio Uy said in a statement.
The additional funding for the PRDP supports the regional thrust of agricultural development and regional productivity, contributing to the country’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on no poverty, zero hunger, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and responsible consumption and production.
The SPFSP, a partnership between the Philippine government and the Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, seeks to raise the yield of rain-fed areas by at least 20 percent.
It is designed to establish solar-powered pump irrigation systems that feature cost-efficient fertilization and irrigation.
The body also backed the One Eastern Visayas Food Security and Agricultural Development Plan, a roadmap designed to address identified gaps under a value chain-oriented commodity development approach.
The plan aims to increase farm output, generate jobs, and provide support to agricultural start-ups.
The last project endorsed by the committee is the one-year extension of the FishCORAL project, which would allow catch-up activities delayed by the pandemic.
The five-year project, which expires this year, is being implemented in four regions, including Eastern Visayas.
Funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), FishCORAL aims to reduce poverty in economically challenged coastal communities while strengthening local food and nutrition security in target areas in the country.
The RDC executive committee acts on matters that require immediate attention and on behalf of the RDC when the latter is not in session.
The body comprises one-fourth of the total membership of the fully constituted council. (PNA)