Monday, April 18, 2011

PBSP, 2 others ink P20M grant

PBSP, 2 others ink P20M grant 
The Freeman
April 17, 2011

TAGBIRALAN CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Business for Social Progress, the federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Karl Kubel Stiftung fur Kind un Familie (KKS) recently entered into a P20-million grant agreement with the Bohol provincial government for the province's food sufficiency project.

The Bohol Food Sufficiency Project, a private-public partnership initiative providing farming technical assistance, infrastructure and facilities, has been designed to reduce poverty and uplift the lives of 2,011 rice farming households and help ensure food sufficiency in the province.

The project is also in support of the province's Bohol HEAT Program and will be implemented in the towns of Carmen, Dagohoy and San Miguel.

The money for the project will go to the construction of 12 small water impounding systems, implementation of appropriate farming technologies and installation of 12 post-harvest facilities to help improve the farmers' annual yields.

Small water impounding systems allow farmers to plant rice in advance and plant more crops throughout the year, increasing their annual rice yields without depending on the planting season. The PBSP also introduced organic farming using vermi-compost and other appropriate farming technologies.

Food security has become one of the major issues in Bohol due to insufficient volume of agricultural produce in supporting the growing demand of the province. Recent data from the National Statistics Office reported that, since last year, Bohol's population has increased to 1.3 million but farmers could only provide 82 percent of the province's needs.

With poverty reduction as one of PBSP's major thrusts, it initiated projects to help Bohol's rice sufficiency through its Area Resource Management Program, which benefited 10,010 poor families in Bohol. With the recent program, PBSP has assisted nine rice-producing towns and 103 barangays in central Bohol by improving farming technology, livelihood and productivity of the beneficiaries.

PBSP, through the Bohol Food Sufficiency Project, would help more farmers meet the increasing production demand of Bohol by focusing on sustainable production, credit support, production facilities and organic rice value chain for tourism and marketing.

The project, which will run for three years, will have provision of revolving fund for agriculture and marketing of organic products. There will also be training of 30 barefoot technicians for the replication of technology to other farmers.

It will be co-implemented by the multi-purpose cooperatives of Carmen and San Miguel towns, and the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation.