MANILA, Philippines – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) have funded P17.8 million worth of agricultural infrastructure projects in Southern Leyte to help boost farm productivity.
Three sub-projects of JICA-DAR including a communal irrigation project, potable water system, and post-harvest facility were turned over to benefit 120 households of Katipunan, Silago, Southern Leyte.
JICA representative Yoshiyuki Ueno said the funding agency supports the country’s inclusive growth agenda.
Ueno said enhancing agriculture production remains one of JICA’s priorities.
“We hope that through the agriculture infrastructure, we will be able to uplift the lives of people in agrarian communities, and create more jobs in the area,” he added.
Since 1995, JICA has partnered with DAR to implement the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP) to support Philippine agriculture.
ARISP, now on its third phase, aims to build 13,468 irrigation facilities in the Philippines, 754 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, 1,822 linear meters of bridges, 94 post-harvest facilities, and 84 units of potable water supply, among other project components.
JICA welcomed the participation of the beneficiaries who contributed equity through materials for construction, portion of land value, and improvement of right of way.
Ueno said the projects highlight the value of community participation in achieving development goals, and making sure the people’s voices are heard.
The sub-projects were consulted with barangays and based on the Agrarian Reform Community development plan.
The Silago projects are also being implemented in partnership with the municipal government and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Meanwhile, Japan through its Official Development Assistance (ODA), extended fund support for the upgrading of the pesticide residue laboratories project worth P85 million.
This project aims to contribute to food safety in the Philippines and Japan by analyzing pesticide residues in food using new equipment. The equipment would be installed at the National Pesticide and Analytical Laboratory in Quezon City and the Satellite Pesticide and Analytical Laboratory in Davao City.
It falls under the Japan Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers, (formerly known as the KR2 Program).
The KR2 program has been implemented in the Philippines for more than 30 years. Japan provided the Philippines with farm inputs worth billions of pesos for this program.
In addition, the counter-value fund from the KR2 program benefited many farm and fishery development projects. These include post-harvest facilities, irrigation facilities, farm to market roads, capacity building programs for farmers, and many others.
This project strengthens the food safety in the Philippines and Japan and also contributes to maintaining the health of the citizens of these nations.
JICA is an agency of the Government of Japan responsible for implementing the technical cooperation, grant aid and yen loan programs of Japan’s ODA to developing countries such as the Philippines.
It is the world’s largest bilateral aid agency with about $10.3 billion in financial resources and a network of more than 100 overseas offices around the world.
(The Philippine Star)
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