DAR launches Project ConVERGE
By Joie L. Ceballos
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 27 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) launched recently the Project ConVERGE or Convergence on Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment as the new partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held in Cagayan de Oro City.
The P2.2 billion project will benefit over 300,000 farmers including 38,700 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the 11 agrarian reform community clusters in the 10 provinces of Regions 9, 10 and 13.
The ceremony was attended by DAR Undersecretary Herman Ongkiko of the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office, IFAD Manager for Southeast Asia Benoit Thierry, IFAD Country Program Officer Yolando Arban, Director Celerina Afable, DAR-10 director Faisar Mambuay, DAR-9 director Felix Aguhob, DAR-13 director Julita Ragandang and other project stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries.
According to Ongkiko, the ConVERGE is a levelled-up DAR-IFAD project which will help farmers and their products from production to marketing, trading and even recycling. “In this way we can alleviate them from poverty and secure food in their tables,” Ongkiko said.
Thierry on the other hand hopes for implementers to undertake the program with sincerity and dedication.
Ragandang revealed that four provinces in Caraga and their commodities will be assisted by ConVerge. These are the abaca of Agusan del Norte, rice of Agusan Sur, coconets of Surigao del Norte and coffee of Surigao Sur. (DAR-13/PIA-Caraga)