Value Chain Approach to Boost Farmers’ Incomes, Food Security in Philippines

April 21, 2010

New USDA-Funded Project to Build Skills, Resources of 25,000 Farmers to Grow High-Value Crops

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new $5.4 million project aims to increase the incomes and food security of 25,000 farmers in the Philippines by harnessing local value chains to increase opportunities and sustainability in growing high-value crops like cocoa, coconuts and rice.

“The current cacao industry is a great opportunity for smallholder farmers to increase their incomes,” says ACDI/VOCA Chief of Party Nic Richards at the April 21 project launch. “By lessening risk by growing other high-value crops and learning new skills, farmers in Mindanao will be better able to earn more money and have improved food security for their families.”

Working in targeted Mindanao provinces, the three-year USDA-funded CoCoPal program will link its activities to the local farming systems approach called palayamanan, which derives its name from palay (rice) and kayamanan (wealth). Palayamanan combines rice with other high-value crops through the efficient use of farm resources to ensure that farmers can produce more while retaining soil fertility, according to ACDI/VOCA.

“I believe that the Philippines can deliver total quality cocoa beans to the world and Asia,” says Fay Fay Choo, commercial manager of Mars Inc., who spoke at the project launch. Over 200 invitees from local governments, trading and processing companies attended the event.

ACDI/VOCA, working with key local partners including Landcare Philippines Foundation, Philippines Rice Research Institute, Cocoa Foundation of Philippines, and Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers, will improve post-harvest processing facilities and practices through the CoCoPal program, which derives its name from cocoa, coconut and palayamanan.

Staff will review the existing value chains of these crops at the outset of the program to ensure that activities focus on increasing the opportunities and reducing constraints within each value chain, resulting in increased farmer participation and benefits.

ACDI/VOCA will monetize 13,200 MT of soybean meal donated by USDA to fund its technical assistance and training efforts.

ACDI/VOCA has a long history of working in the Philippines, including the recently ended program SUCCESS Alliance Phase II, which worked to strengthen the entire cacao value chain in the Philippines from farm to market. To learn more, please visit www.acdivoca.org.

    Media Contacts:
    (In-country): Nic Richards, chief of party, ACDI/VOCA,
    (Outside the Philippines): Sandra Bunch, ACDI/VOCA, sbunch@acdivoca.org,
     (202) 469-6166

ACDI/VOCA (www.acdivoca.org) is a global leader in agricultural development, dedicated to poverty alleviation and broad-based economic growth. With more than 45 years of experience, we currently work in more than 40 countries to improve agricultural productivity and build developing economies using proven methods like our value chain approach.


Source: newswire

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