February 4, 2022
Amid threats from climate change and COVID-19, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through its Technical Assistance (TA) team, trained agri-business owners in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (CAAM) to boost job creation and productivity in the agriculture sector.
A group of Japanese and Filipino experts from the JICA TA team trained the agri-business owners on high-value production and marketing. It is a part of the technical assistance provided to the Land Bank of the Philippines in the implementation of the Project for Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST). HARVEST is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) of JICA that seeks to provide concessional loans to micro, small, medium and large enterprises, cooperatives, agribusiness enterprises, and financial institutions in BARMM and CAAM.
"The training is an opportunity for the agribusiness sector and farmers to step up and improve productivity and marketability of their products in the face of uncertainties and rising food prices. Hopefully, these enterprises will be able to explore innovative ways to supply and market agricultural products more sustainably," said JICA Senior Representative EBISAWA Yo.
As of November last year, 22 agriculture enterprises engaged in different production sectors in BARMM have joined the HARVEST program.
Aside from HARVEST, JICA has been supporting the agriculture sector through infrastructure, capacity building, and technical cooperation benefiting agrarian reform communities and farmers not just in Mindanao, but also in other regions. JICA has assisted a total of JPY 191 billion worth of agriculture-related loan commitments to the Philippines since 1965.
Participants listening to the explanation of the lecturer, Atty. Jaime Lopoz.
Ms. Merly Cruz giving her opening message and overview of the training.