AUSTRALIA PROVIDES PHP444M TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
The Australian Government, through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), recently signed a Memorandum of Subsidiary Arrangement with the Philippine Government for a Php444.6 million (A$11.7 million) grant for two programs that aim to improve the domestic profitability and export competitiveness of selected vegetable and fruit value chains in the southern Philippines.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith (right) signed the program agreement with Dr Patricio Faylon (left) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources and Development (PCARRD). Witnesses to the signing were (2nd to 4th from left): Dr. Jocelyn Eusebio (PCARRD), Ms Cecilia Honrado (ACIAR Philippines Country Manager) and Mr John Oakeshott (ACIAR Philippines Horticulture Manager).
The Php254.6 million (A$6.7 million), four-year vegetable value chain program, to be managed by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, aims to develop integrated soil and crop nutrient management in vegetable crops in the southern Philippines and Australia.
The vegetable value chain program will also look at developing a cost-effective protected vegetable cropping system, particularly in the high rainfall areas of Leyte and Mindanao, to produce high value crops in the wet season when prices are high. These systems will also be modified for use in Australia.
The Php190 million (A$5 million) fruit value chain program will be managed by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and implemented over the next four years in Leyte, Northern Mindanao/Cagayan de Oro, and Southern Mindanao/Davao. This program aims to improve domestic profitability and export competitiveness of the following fruit crops: mango, papaya, durian and jackfruit.
“On behalf of the Australian Government, I am pleased to note the long-standing collaboration of Filipino and Australian researchers in the development and improvement of new and existing technologies for various vegetables and fruits commodities,” Mr Smith said. “The Australian Government is committed to supporting the Philippines continue its fight against poverty by paving the ways for a sustained means of livelihood, particularly in agriculture on which the majority of rural people still depend.”