The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has turned over 1.17-billion-yen farm-to-market roads for farmers in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas.
The roads are in Bumbaran town in Lanao del Sur province (4.7 kilometers), Alamada town in North Cotabato province (7.9 kms), and Datu Paglas in Maguindanao province (8.7 kms).
The projects were identified as supporting agricultural development needs in the region under the Study for Socioeconomic Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-affected Areas in Mindanao.
“We aim to bring more opportunities for farmers in Mindanao by expanding their market access and sustaining their livelihood,” JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines Yoshio Wada said in a statement on Thursday.
“This is our way of contributing to peace and development in Mindanao, so more people could enjoy the dividends of peace and improve their lives,” he added.
Officials from DA, JICA, the Japanese embassy in Manila, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and National Economic and Development Authority; and Datu Paglas Mayor Abubakar Paglas attended the handover ceremony.
JICA has been supporting the Mindanao peace process since 2002. Its Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) implemented nearly 30 projects there.
JICA is the executing agency of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA). It handles technical cooperation; ODA loans and investments; grant aid; and cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs.