The Department of Agriculture (DA) will implement three major public-private partnership (PPP) projects designed to increase productivity of various sectors in agriculture and fisheries.
Zenaida Villegas, DA Project Service Development director, said that the projects for consideration under the PPP scheme will include the construction of a multipurpose reservoir dam, improvement of existing postharvest processing and trading centers and the establishment of a cold-chain system.
Villegas, who also heads the DA-PPP coordinating staff, said that the multibillion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) to be implemented by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will soon take off to provide year-round irrigation to agricultural areas in the province of Iloilo.
The project fund amounting to P11.212 billion will be sourced from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) via the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).
The KEXIM-EDCF, through a memorandum of understanding with the agriculture department, has signified its intention to finance the conduct of a study to determine the feasibility of implementing JRMP II.
“The Korean agency has indicated during a mission earlier this year that it shall consider such technical assistance, once the detailed engineering design for the irrigation component is completed. A draft terms of reference for the conduct of said feasibility study has been prepared by the DA and subsequently endorsed by NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority] to the KEXIM-EDCF,” Villegas said.
Jesus Dato-on, NIA Region VI division manager and concurrent acting project manager of JRMP II, said that construction of access roads to the site is now ongoing, noting that they expect to complete the JRMP II before the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd ends in 2016.
“JRMP II will benefit farmers and irrigators associations. The project will serve an estimated 21,227 farmer beneficiaries of which 14,893 for the new area and 6,334 for the rehabilitated area,” said Dato-on.
Besides irrigation, KEXIM-EDCF will also finance two other components of the JRMP II: hydropower generation and domestic water.
Another project under way is the Grains Central Project, which seeks to rehabilitate, expand and enhance existing corn trading and processing centers nationwide.
The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) is the project proponent while the National Agribusiness Corp. will serve as the project’s implementing agency.
Villegas said that the DA has engaged the assistance of the Land Bank of the Philippines (and International Financial Corp. as transaction advisors.
“The PPP Grains Central Project will be presented to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on 15 July 2013, while the complete project documents will be submitted to the NEDA-ICC [Investment Coordinating Committee] within the third quarter of this year,” Villegas said.
There are 11 Corn Postharvest Processing and Trading Centers proposed to be included in the said project.
Under cold-chain component, PhilMech has presented a proposal for a project which aims to reduce postharvest losses, maintain the quality of perishable goods and promote direct marketing/online auctions.
The cold-chain system project of the agency has identified five routes that will be included—Cagayan-Manila; Visayas-Inter-Island Connections; Manila-Cebu; Cebu-Manila and Benguet-Manila, which will be the pilot route.
The DA-PPP Unit has also conducted ocular inspections on the potential sites for the fruits and vegetable cold chain center in La Trinidad, Benguet, and in Guiguinto, Bulacan, for the AAA abattoir project.
Consultative meetings were also undertaken with the local government units of Benguet and Bulacan to confirm the availability of sites being eyed for the project.