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Press Release

October 21, 2022

JICA, DENR improve accessibility of rural upland farmers to spur economic activity and help conserve forests

In a major push to help farmers adapt to climate change, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are building more access roads for upland farmers under an ongoing cooperation Forestland Management Project (FMP).

Just this week, a P26M access road was turned over in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija where upland farmers are also protecting the Pinagloriahan watershed supplying water to more than 900 households.

"Sustainable forestland management where people's organizations and farmers are trained and supported with agro-forestry facilities like roads is a forward-looking solution to climate change. Building roads so farmers can reach markets and communities can access social services has longer, resilient-building impact," said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.

JICA has been working in tandem with DENR for FMP where watershed areas in the Cordillera, Regions 2, 3, and 6 are given assistance to restore as much as 71,300 hectares of forests. The cooperation has so far developed around 100 enterprises, and built some 70 agro-forestry support facilities like roads, bridges, and irrigation systems.

The access road in Nueva Ecija alone stands to benefit nearly 4,000 members of people's organizations in the area. Under the JICA-DENR cooperation, farmers belonging to these organizations continue to learn the benefits of protecting their remaining forests in ways that also benefit their livelihood.

Indeed, one of the positive outcomes of the cooperation is paving way for new opportunities for socio-economic development. "The new access road will reduce costs and 20-30 minutes of our time in transporting our vegetables and palay to the market. Not only we will save some money but will also boost agricultural yield," Mr. Ernesto Rivera Sr., PO Chairman, Calaocan Burgos Upland Farmers Association Inc.

The FMP which is due to finish in 2023 is seen to further strengthen the Philippines' watershed management system and promote collaboration in watershed conservation post-project, while sustainably giving opportunities to more farmers in the long run.

Know more about FMP through this link





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