The Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), identified mango and seaweeds as among the commodities in Puerto Princesa City supported through the agency’s Investment for Rural Enterprise and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP).
PRDP’s I REAP is a World Bank-funded project and the enterprise development component of the project that engages the local government units (LGUs) and other sectors of the community particularly farmers and fisherfolk, in the production of marketable surplus. Through I-REAP, investments in strategic segments of priority commodity value chains, the income of farmers and fisherfolk are expected to increase.
PRDP’s I-REAP objective is to strengthen and develop viable agri-fishery based enterprises through efficient value chains of key agricultural and fishery products or targeted program areas. It has a sharing scheme between the World Bank at 60 percent, DA-PRDP at 20 percent, and the LGU at only 20 percent for the total cost of the project.
The DA’s PRDP team inspected various projects funded by their agency in Puerto Princesa City and in Roxas town from October 7 until October 11, 2019.
Alex Ronquillo, deputy project director of the RPCO-4 of PRDP and his team, visited the Office of the City Agriculturist, Ms. Mellissa U. Macasaet, prior to their site visit and inspection to various PRDP projects in Palawan.
He said that there are two I-REAP subprojects in the city such as the mango processing project in Brgy. Inagawan-Sub and seaweeds production and marketing in the coastal waters of Honda Bay, specifically in the area near Snake Island.
Joven Delgado, aquaculturist of the City Agriculture’s Office, said that the seaweed farmers and producers in the city benefited from the DA-PRDP funded project worth P16 Million with the provision of drying facility that will be installed near Snake Island.
He said that the project is now on its procurement process, since the PRDP approved the project during the 3rd quarter of this year.
Another PRDP’s I-REAP funded project in Puerto Princesa is the P11.6 million-worth Mango Processing Facility and Marketing subproject that will cater additional income for the member-beneficiaries of the Tagumpay Agrarian Auto-Savings Multi-Purpose Cooperative or TAAS-MPC. The cooperative has close to 400 members, and their project aims to address the core problem of mango growers in Palawan—the mango pulp weevil (MPW).
“By utilizing the oversupply of fresh mangoes, the subproject can raise the actual farm productivity of its farmer-beneficiaries. The price of mango will increase, because of the value adding activity, and at the same time, the processing center will be able to generate employment opportunities for other members of the community,” the DA-PRDP said in a statement.