DA seeks World Bank funding for fisheries project
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking a $200-million fund from the World Bank to finance its Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) project to improve the country’s fishery production and protect the “blue economy” as food sustainability becomes a pressing need more than ever.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the project “would directly contribute to achieving key outcomes in the department’s food security framework, which is integral to the national goals of recovery and resilience as we survive, reboot and grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”The loan, which is equivalent to P10.1 billion, will be used to expand and modernize the Philippine capture fisheries and aquaculture through the provision of technical support, capital and enabling environment. This will be implemented in selected sites in 12 delineated fisheries management areas (FMAs) in the country to sustainably manage the country’s resources through a science-based and participatory governance framework.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the FMAs include major fishing grounds, lakes, bays, gulfs and other areas that may be delineated for fishery resource management purposes.
The DA said the World Bank had expressed support to the proposed FishCoRe project.
The financial institution’s director, Achim Fock, said in a letter to the DA that they fully supported the goals of the project through enhanced ecosystem management, productivity-enhancing technologies aquaculture, reduced postharvest losses, value-chain infrastructure and related activities.
Dar said they had requested the accelerated processing of FishCoRe funding so that the project could be approved by the middle of 2021.
The DA is tasked to submit the project’s feasibility study by November this year, in time for its presentation to World Bank officials in June next year. Once approved, the agency is expected to implement the program by October 2021.Under the proposal, there would be integration of coastal zone planning and policy development, and the comanagement of coastal and marine resources. It seeks to modernize fisheries and aquaculture enterprises throughout the value supply chain.
Despite being an archipelago, the Philippines has not fully taken advantage of its vast and rich marine resources.
For the first quarter of the year, fisheries production declined by 3.2 percent. INQ
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