IFAD Sets $60M For Agri, CRM Projects
The International fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is allocating an estimated $60 million out of a $200-million five to seven-year poverty-reduction projects of the country focusing on upland development, agribusiness development, and coastal resource management (CRM).
The proposed program up to 2015 will be implemented in the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines which are generally critical watersheds in the uplands. The poorest communities include indigenous people, upland settlers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, small farmers, and micro and small enterprises (MSE) that provide market linkages to the most impoverished.
Development of the upland will go hand in hand with agribusiness programs since the poor in the mountainous areas are forced to tap natural resources for livelihood, thereby destroying their environment. Some engage in kaingin or slash and burn so as to be able to use land for agriculture. Some just burn trees in order to turn them into charcoal and exchange this for cash.
The proposed Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Program (INREM) will carry out watershed conservation and rehabilitation and protection of critical watersheds.
“INREM will arrest degradation, proactively respond to climate change vulnerabilities, and introduce integrated ecosystems management approaches that improve community livelihood,” IFAD said.
Of the $100 to $150 million INREM that can last up to seven years, $30 million will be financed by IFAD and $70 to $120 million will be co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Philippine government, and the bener ciaries themselves.
By Melody M. Aguiba