DA, JICA reinforce camaraderie for Phl agri sector
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) extended its continued support to the endeavors of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) during a courtesy call on April 6, 2022.
JICA’s newly-appointed Chief Representative to the Philippines Sakamoto Takema expressed the Agency’s sincerity in prioritizing the Philippines, including the DA, as one of its partners.
Agriculture, he said, is an important sector in every country as it paves way for income generation, job creation, parks and recreation, food security, and other factors of society.
“JICA is really looking at countries for the possibility of future cooperation in terms of infrastructure development, system management development, and capacity development,” said Sakamoto.
The DA has two ongoing projects with JICA, namely: Advisor on Project Formulation and Preparation under Japan’s Technical Cooperation Program, implemented by DA Project Development Service and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM); and Market-Driven Enhancement of Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines, spearheaded by DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance (AMAS).
The first project aims to assist DA in increasing pipeline projects in the agri-fishery sector and to facilitate the process of approving projects for possible assistance by the Government of Japan. The second initiative, a US$ 3.19-million grant assistance, aims to increase productivity and income of farmers by expanding profitable vegetable value chain through the development of an inclusive business model.
Also discussed during the courtesy call were similarities and differences between the Philippines’ and Japan’s approach toward agricultural programs, as well as potential ventures between JICA and DA on agricultural infrastructures, capacity-building for farmers and cooperatives, food terminal systems, scholarship opportunities, research and development, and private sector involvement.
Secretary Dar relayed his gratitude to JICA for its relentless assistance to DA.
“We continue to treasure the various assistance from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to private sector partnerships to other programs. I think our minds are really in synergy because the things that you have discussed, and described, are the very strategies that we would like to pursue under the “OneDA” Reform Agenda. We believe that these programs will really help us have a stronger hold to make the lives of our farmers and fisherfolk more prosperous this time,” the DA chief concluded. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)