DA seeks World Bank funding for animal disease prevention
MANILA -The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking up to $30 million (P1.7 billion) in funding from the World Bank to improve measures for the prevention of animal diseases.
In a chance interview, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said the agency was crafting a proposal to secure a fund for the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale Up, which aimed to improve farmers and fishers’ access to markets and increase their incomes.
De Mesa said the agency has already submitted an expression of interest to tap funds totaling $25 million to $30 million through the multilateral lender’s $300-million Pandemic Fund.
“It will focus on surveillance, improving biosecurity [measures] and laboratories, and the response to animal diseases,” he told reporters.
The PRDP Scale Up “would bring a strategic shift through a greater emphasis on bringing transformative changes in value chains to improve farmers’ and fisherfolks’ profitability and enhance value chain efficiencies,” according to a World Bank document detailing this initiative.
The PRDP concentrates on catalyzing the start up, expansion and business orientation of micro to medium-scale agri-fishery enterprises, along with support for market access infrastructure.
For this undertaking, the DA convened a team led by de Mesa to prepare and finalize the project proposal and facilitate the submission of the same.
The World Bank is currently soliciting bids for the first round of funding under the Pandemic Fund. It intends to help developing countries better prepare for and respond to future pandemics. INQ