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PIA Press Release
2009/06/24

Antipoverty program to maximize agri-tech for small farmers

by Sherwin B. Manual

Davao City (24 June) -- Agricultural technology is pivotal to boost production and improve incomes of small farmers in Mindanao.

With this, the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) convene recently here the Research, Development and Extension Network (RDEN) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to forge commitment to intensify technological transfer to benefit small farmers in Mindanao's countryside.

MRDP is a poverty alleviation program implemented by DA through agricultural infrastructure and agri-based livelihoods.

"There is a need to intensify technology transfer to benefit small farmers to help them in their production as well us increasing income," says MRDP program director Roger C. Chio.

He said utilization of technology that promotes value adding is what small farmers need if the program bats for economic resiliency in the rural communities.

"Our livelihood projects and environmental budget is ready and most of it has been released but we need the help of extension works of RDEN for the farmers to properly use each technology applied in their respective areas" Governance component head Yolanda Urbiztondo said.

She hoped that with this partnership with other stakeholders will create awareness among people to put their stake for the development of Mindanao.

The program includes four major components as a package of investment to fight poverty including rural infrastructure, community fund for agricultural development, natural resources management and governance reform.

To date, over P120 million worth of agri-fishery livelihoods has benefited more then 50 towns all over Mindanao. And more than 400 million has been earmarked for farm-to market roads, irrigation, post-harvest facilities. While P11 million will be spent for governance reform and local revenue generation trainings for the local government units and close to P42 million was released recently for environment conservation.

MRDP targets to increase by 20 percent the average household income of the program's beneficiaries.(MRDP-PIA XI) [top]

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