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PIA Press Release

2KR-assisted projects get p81.6-m budget for 2007

Manila (24 September) -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P81.63 million as counterpart funding to ensure this year's implementation of five projects of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under a 300-million yen grant from the Japanese government that aims to benefit Filipino farmers living below the poverty line.

This yen grant, known as the Japan Grant Assistance for Under Privileged Farmers, otherwise known as the 2KR, is being handled by the DA's National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC).

Among the recipients of the yen grant is the DA's Barangay Food Terminal, which aims to make available quality, safe and affordable basic food commodities to consumers in poverty-stricken areas of the country, according to DA undersecretary and NAFC executive director Bernie Fondevilla.

Another beneficiary is the Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center's Continuing Capability for an Integrated Development of Bicol Freshwater Fisheries Project, which aims to provide both small fishers and commercial producers with viable alternatives in addressing sizeable aquaculture production surplus by converting them into various value-added products for increased incomes, Fondevilla said.

Under this project, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource will upgrade the current Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center's (RFFC) operations in Bula, Camarines Sur, he said.

Post harvest, laboratory and other relevant facilities will be established to elevate the level of function of the RFFC from a mere production-based aquaculture center to a one-stop-shop of freshwater fisheries technologies to cater to the freshwater aquaculture needs of the region, he added.

The rehabilitation of the Aganan River Irrigation System in Jaro, Iloilo; the Assessment of the Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFCs) as Social Mobilization Agents and the Expanded Special Vehicle Loan Fund, are also recipients of the 2KR grant.

The Philippines, which has been a recipient of the Tokyo aid since 1977, was selected by Japan last December as one of six countries eligible for this grant.

The 2KR grant, which is equivalent to $2.59 million, was approved by Japan last December. Japanese Ambassador Ryuichiro Yamazaki and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo signed the exchange of notes on this accord last March 19. (PIA) [top]

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