The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) is a six-year (2013-2018) initiative of the government that envisions to increase farm and fishery productivity and incomes in target areas in all 16 regions of the country. This is by improving access of farmers and other industry players to a strategic network of infrastructure, market information and support services. Specific investments and interventions are to be implemented under four central components of the program, namely: 1) Investments for AFMP Planning at the Local and National Levels (I-PLAN); 2) Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD); 3) Investments for Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP); and 4) Implementation Support to PRDP (I-SUPPORT).
This year, 450 thousand cacao seedlings are set to be distributed by the Department of Agriculture – Region IX. “P16 million has been allotted to the cacao planting materials and this would cover 900 thousand hectares for the entire region. This is only from the Department of Agriculture. Other agencies like the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - NGP have also set targets for the year. We will likely to have a blooming cacao industry here in the peninsula in the coming years,” said Ana S. Aying, High Value Crops Coordinator for Region IX.