DTI, IFAD launch
program to link farmers to food manufacturers
May 27, 2019
PASAY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a joint program to link
farmers to food manufacturers. The Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership
for Inclusive Development (RAPID Growth) program was launched on 24
May at the IFEX Philippines: Next Food Asia at the World Trade
"The RAPID Growth program
is close to my heart because it empowers and enables those at the
bottom of the pyramid. Increasing rural income and decreasing
poverty is one of the main goals of the Duterte administration,"
said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
With a total cost of P4.7
billion, the RAPID Growth program will be funded by IFAD and
implemented by DTI as it upgrades the agri-based SMEs to create a
huge sustainable market demand for the output of specific
Lopez added that “This is
the reason why we say that the RAPID project has a good model since
it will all be market-driven, and there will be specific support
systems that will upgrade the operations of the SMEs as well as the
productivity and yield of farmers. The program will assist both ends
of the value chain: the farmers and the micro, small, and medium
Around 1,050 MSMEs and
78,000 farmers of coffee, cocoa, coconut, and selected fruits and
nuts will receive training, supplies, and financial assistance from
the program, among others.
RAPID Growth will pilot in
four areas and focus on four agricultural products: coco coir in
Leyte, coffee in Bukidnon, cacao in Davao del Norte, and calamansi
in Agusan del Sur. The areas were chosen based on the number of
MSMEs, production area, and poverty incidence. The program will then
be implemented in 16 more provinces in six regions (Samar and all
the five regions in Mindanao).
IFAD Country Director for
the Philippines Alessandro Marini said that RAPID Growth is their
biggest investment in the Philippines. He added that poverty
incidence among farmers is 34% and to truly eradicate poverty, there
should be sustained and inclusive agriculture growth.
RAPID Program Head and DTI
Region 11 Assistant Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo added that
RAPID aims to foster inclusive and sustainable development in the
Philippines by creating a market-driven approach to agri-production.
Specifically, projects under the RAPID Growth program will establish
value chain-based development, increase production capacities of
farmers, ensure innovative agri-financing, strengthen market
linkages, create jobs and employment opportunities, and upgrade and