The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P18.5 million under its Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) for the establishment of a seaweed industry in Guimaras province. May Ann Grajo, I-REAP component head of the PRDP-DA Region 6, said that the seaweed production and marketing project will benefit more than 400 producers in the towns of Sibunag, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Jordan aside from helping provide 1,259 fisherfolks of additional income. The PRDP is a six-year rural development project that aims to increase the incomes of rural farmers while improving the country’s economy through agri-based initiatives. It is implemented by the DA using funds from the World Bank, the national government and the local government units. Guimaras, which is an island province, is the second seaweed producer in Western Visayas, next to Antique province. Under the project, the World Bank will provide P8.8 million while both the national and local governments will each provide P2.9 million. The project proponent, Sabang Seaweed Growers Association, will also need to give a counterpart fund of P3.7 million.