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A proposed project to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), RAPID Growth, which will be implemented in 2017-2022, is a PhP 2.3-billion project that aims to propel agriculture-based processing enterprises and entrepreneurial communities to become innovative, productive, and competitive so that they will be capacitated in meeting the challenges of the global market.

Specifically, this project aims to provide focused, firm-level, value chain-based, and climate-smart assistance and financing program to micro and small businesses,  through  enabling sectoral and trade policies which are designed to provide enhanced access to institutional, regional, and world markets.


ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2018

  • Conduct of Feasibility Studies for 4 priority sectors
    • Reviewed and commented on the outputs of four (4) studies submitted initially in December: Coffee (Bukidnon), Cacao (Davao del Norte), Calamansi (Agusan del Sur), and Leyte (Coco Coir)
    • Coordinated with Agriculture, National Economic Development Authority - Natural Resources and Environment Staff (NEDA ANRES) for comments and requirements of the Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), all comments were forwarded to consultants for further response.
  • Preparation for ICC Cabinet Committee
    • Coordinative meetings with Cabinet Secretariat (CabSec) and IFAD representatives on compliance with Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) Cabinet Committee requirement
    • Interviewed 4 showcase enterprises assisted by DTI to be replicated by RAPID Growth project
  • Revised Small Grants Agreement and other DOF requirements for the Special Authority from the Office of the President.
  • Conducted meeting with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) subcomponent funds flow and implementation arrangements. Submitted DTI-Legal Service (LS)-Cleared copy of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DTI and DILG for the implementation of the FMR subcomponent.
  • Re-submitted updated project documents required for the issuance of the Forward Obligation Authority (FOA) by DBM. DTI submitted the updated versions of the RAPID growth Project Profile (BP 203), Detailed Costing (by Sub-Category and by Financier), Draft Loan Agreement and Grant Document to DBM for the issuance of the FOA.
  • Facilitated roll out of the Small Grants Agreement by submitted the Annual Work Plan and Budget and the Annual Procurement Plan; also, assisted in the opening of trust account
  • Facilitated IFAD Courtesy Call for Country Programme Mission Turnover and RAPID Growth Meeting regarding next steps concerning Department of Finance (DoF), DBM, Special Presidential Authority (SPA), among others.
  • Conducted Project Implementation Manual (PIM) Workshop in Cagayan de Oro, 29-30 August 2018.
  • Conducted RAPID Growth Validation and Planning workshop in Davao City, 1-3 October 2018, participated by 4 Phase 1 Regional and Provincial offices and private sector representatives.

 

 

 

  • Drafted the following documents as indicated in the Next Steps of the Validation Workshop:
  • Draft Memorandum Order creating the Project Implementation Structure;
  • Job Description and Qualification Standards for RAPID Growth project staff at National, regional and provincial levels; and
  • Memorandum on the submission of annual workplan and budget and annual procurement plan at the regional level for both year 1 and Phase 1, and indicative for 2020.
  • Coordinated with IFAD on the DTI participants to No Objection Tracking System (NOTUS) seminar on 3-5 December.
  • Conducted the RAPID Project Implementation Manual (PIM) Workshop on 27-29 November in Davao City.

 

 

 

 

  • Conducted meeting with IFAD and DTI led by Undersecretary Vizmonte regarding unresolved issues during the PIM workshop in Davao. Agreements were:
  • Request Office of Solicitor General whether Coops and NGOs can procure machineries, works, planting materials and inputs using project funds downloaded to them
  • Partner with NGOs and federation of cooperatives in project capacity building activities for farmer-beneficiaries
  • Request for No Obligation (NO) letter from IFAD for project staff already contracted or in the process of being contracted
  • Clarified funds flow from IFAD down to the field implementing units

RAPID GROWTH PROJECT TO TRANSFORM AGRI-BASED PH ENTERPRISES FOR GLOBAL MARKETS
DTI, IFAD champions MSMEs, farmers through a P4.7-billion peso, agri-enterprise development project launched at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA

Farmers and micro, small, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines can expect more marketing and business support from the government with the launch of the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) project. Led by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, RAPID Growth project was kicked off in the first day of IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA on May 24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

RAPID Growth is a 4.7-billion-peso value chain-based and market-driven business development initiative that aims to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic development for rural farming communities in the country. It is spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

RAPID Growth project goes to the heart of what we are doing at DTI: linking farmers and businesses,” said Lopez. “And by promoting the microenterprises or those in the bottom of the pyramid, we are empowering the nation.”

IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA is an excellent platform to present this momentous project due to the presence of local and international food companies which can be potential partners and forward linkages to the export market in the agricultural value chains to be developed,” said Lopez.

Through RAPID Growth project, Lopez said that DTI is looking to address rural poverty and unemployment by building partnership between MSMEs and farming communities to produce products that are competitive and enjoy a high demand in the global market.

IFAD Country Director Alessandro Marini said poor families from local communities now have a better chance to increase their income level, improve their social status and participate in the global value chain since RAPID Growth makes the agri-enterprise ecosystem “more inclusive and competitive.”

According to Lopez, RAPID Growth project is different from all other agri-based development programs since it focuses on a market-driven approach where the MSMEs are the entry point to develop the value chain from agricultural production side to processing, distribution and marketing.

The country’s trade chief also emphasized that RAPID Growth project will link local farmers, MSMEs and corporations thru Negosyo Centers and other market interventions to ensure their access to raw materials, markets, technology and suitable investment finance.

Increasing the production of our small farmers will helped them grow alongside our burgeoning manufacturing sector, prepare them for the global market and provide much-needed boost to our MSMEs in the food business,” he explained.

Elevating PH’s agri priority sectors: coffee, cacao, coco coir and processed fruits and nuts

RAPID Growth project is set to target small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs engaged within the selected commodity chains, further targeting unemployed and underemployed rural women and men. Special focus will be on women, youth and indigenous people. According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, RAPID Growth will primarily target four agricultural value chains, namely cocoa, coffee, processed fruits and nuts, and coconut. “These f our commodities have lucrative markets, social features and have the potential to provide sustained economic benefits to small farmers and enterprises,” Lopez said.
It is set to be initially implemented in six regions, which are regions eight to 13 with 20 target provinces. This includes Leyte, Southern Leyte and Northern Samar from Region 8; Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay from Region 9; Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental from Region 10; Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental from Region 11; North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao from Region 12 or ARMM; and Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur from Region 13.

Five components in transforming PH agri-enterprises

Under the RAPID Growth project, five levels of interventions will be implemented to ensure the holistic development of farmer and MSME beneficiaries, namely:

  • Direct Assistance to Enterprises -To strengthen complementary activities necessary to boost investments along the four commodity value chains. This includes the provision of conditional matching grants and partnership/coordination for the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads to improve the connectivity of production areas in intended markets.
  • Institutional Strengthening - To intensify the promotion of MSMEs and farmer in the four commodity value chains. The interventions include the establishment of provincial networks of Negosyo Centers to also serve as one-stop-shops; development of MEs and cooperatives as service hubs to provide basic services to farmers; facilitation of inclusive and equitable partnerships between farmers and SMEs; and, capacity building of LGUs on the supervision of FMR rehabilitation.
  • Technical Assistance to Financial Service Providers (FSPs) - To provide capacity building to companies that provide accessible financial products and services. This includes consultancy for FSPs, capacity building for cooperatives and support to Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP) and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), among others.
  • Innovation Fund - To provide incentives to private equity and venture capital firms to finance SME capital requirements. This will include innovative financial instruments as an alternative to simple loan products and develop non-loan products and services, among others.
  • Management, Monitoring and Evaluation - To implement an approach that will feature public-private partnerships, embedding project management in DTI and building capacities of public and private partners, among others.

Held at the launch was the signing of the pledge of commitment by the Project Steering Committee for RAPID Growth project composed of leaders and representatives from the government, agricultural, trade, finance and private sectors.

The RAPID Growth Project was proposed to directly address policy commitments of the Philippine Government aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are of high relevance in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality.

Anchored in the government’s ‘Pagbabago’ pillar, this project seeks to address the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 target outcomes which are (1) expanding economic opportunities and (2) increasing access to economic opportunities including smallholder farmers and fisherfolks.

Likewise, through this project, the DTI is set to prioritize the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the key pillar of its economic program. This approach will facilitate collaboration among public agencies in supporting agriculture-based enterprises and synergies among stakeholders. DTI's capacity to broker cross-sectoral synergies and partnerships will be upgraded at national, regional and provincial levels.

The project is funded by IFAD through a combination of Loan and Grant; Government of the Philippines (GoP); Local Government Units (LGUs); Financial Service Providers (FSP).♦

Date of Release: 31 May 2019


ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2017

  • Met with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to discuss the steps in the submission of the Project Proposal to the following agencies: DTI for finalization; National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) for review of project design; Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for financial negotiations; Office of the President for letter of authority; and the IFAD Board by September.
  • Conducted the Final Design Mission with interviews with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Small Business Corp (SB Corp), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and Department of Finance (DOF)—and filed visits to Regions VIII, X, XI and XII on project administration and financial matters.

  • Presented RAPID Growth to the Economic Development Councils of Regions VIII, X, XI, XII and Caraga and secured endorsements from their respective Regional Development Councils. Endorsements were issued subject to recommendations and observations by committee members during the presentation.
  • Coordinated with IFAD official Mr Tawfiq Al Zabri on visit to Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation on further details of cooperation on the RAPID Growth Project.
  • Presented RAPID Growth Proposal to NEDA-ICC. NEDA-ICC cabinet committee (CabCom) deferred the approval of the proposal and instructed DTI to: present a successful SME development program that the project intends to replicate; present detailed project coverage providing information of names of individuals, business entities and institutions, nature and location of business, proposed interventions and resources allotted to them; and, project results that show how the project will contribute to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) results matrix.
  • Convened Cluster Coordinators meeting. The cluster coordinators discussed the requirements by the ICC CabCom and agreed on the information and data to be collected including allocating target product volume/value for the project, target cluster for each project province, and deliverables based on proposed project LogFrame and Cluster plans.
  • Prepared and conducted Regional Operations Group (ROG) meeting of representatives from regional offices and provincial offices of RAPID priority projects, with the following outputs:
    • Regional and provincial directors and/or representatives were briefed on the proposed RAPID Growth Project which was then being considered and evaluated at the ICC Cabcom;
    • Participants were provided information on the Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) and how it will be drafted and validated for each cluster in each covered province; and,
    • Regional and provincial directors or representatives validated submissions of enrolled clusters in each region.
  • Provided technical inputs to the IFAD Small Grant Agreement in support for the approval of RAPID Growth Project. Draft agreement was endorsed by Undersecretary Maglaya to Secretary Lopez for onward approval of the Department of Finance.  Small Grant Agreement is in the amount of US$500,000 to be used in the conduct of VC studies for the identified provinces of RAPID Growth. 
  • Conducted the following Consultative Meetings for the drafting of Provincial industry cluster Strategic Investment Plans:
    • Meeting with stakeholders of calamansi cluster in Agusan del Sur on 11 December 2017
    • Meeting with stakeholders of cacao cluster in Davao del Norte on 13 December 2017
    • Conducted consultative meeting among stakeholders of coffee cluster in Bukidnon on 11 December 2017
    • Meeting with stakeholders of coco coir cluster in Leyte on 21 December 2017
  • Received and reviewed the following drafts of Strategic Investment Plans (SIPs):
    • Cacao of Davao del Norte. Requested and received endorsement from Region XI’s Regional Director Belenda Q Ambi. SIP was forwarded to NEDA- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environement Staff (ANRES) for further comments.
    • Coffee of Bukidnon. Requested endorsement from Region X, after comments of the Bukidnon provincial office were included in the revised report. SIP was forwarded to NEDA ANRES for further comments.
    • Calamansi of Agusan del Sur. Received partially-completed report, and coordinated with consultant, Mr Louie Pacana, on how further data would be collated and included in the report.
    • Coco coir of Leyte. Received report and forwarded to appropriate regional offices and to IFAD for comments. SIP for revision.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2016

  • Finalized Technical Expert’s Terms of Reference (TOR) for the drafting of preparatory value chain studies for the IFAD Design Mission
  • Facilitated conduct of IFAD Design Mission:
    • Collation of available value chain studies
    • Preparation and distribution of the Guide Questionnaire on priority value chain/industry cluster
    • Conduct of Focused Group Discussion for selected clusters
    • Preparation and presentation of preliminary results to IFAD
    • Preliminary meeting with IFAD Philippine Country Manager Mr. Omar Zafar on the components of the Design Mission
    • Meeting with visiting IFAD Philippine Country Manager Mr. Omar Zafar to discuss inclusion in the financing aspect of the project proposal: Equity financing and Remittance financing
  • Facilitated inclusion of RAPID Growth to DTI Process Improvement Projects (PIPs)
  • Coordinated the conduct of the following meeting/activities:
    • Study visit by South-South Exposure Visit from the Government of Republic of South Africa to IFAD supported project in the Philippines
    • Meeting of IFAD Southern Africa Study Mission at SB Corporation
  • Preparatory meeting for the RAPID Growth Project Design Mission
  • Provided technical support to the Pre Design Mission:
    • Finalized Terms of Reference of the mission
    • Organized Industry Cluster Workshops for the seven (7) priority cluster coordinators and assisting coordinators.
    • Coordinated the preparation for site visits in the following regions:
      • Region VI – wearables and homestyles
      • Region VII – Processed fruit, cacao, and furniture and furnishings
      • Region XI – Cacao, coco coir
      • Region XII – Rubber and processed fruits
      • Region X – coco coir, coffee and processed fruits and nuts
  • Organized a Field Visit in Davao City from 05-09 September 2016
  • Organized Pre-Design Mission meetings among the NGAs, private sectors, financing institutions and other organizations, as follows:
    • Meeting with NEDA, DOF, Landbank: September 13, 2016
    • Meeting with DA and with Agencies with related projects/programs (DAR – ConVERGE, DOST – Set UP, DSWD – SLP): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting on Standards and Food Safety (DTI-BPS, DTI-PAB, DTI-CPAB, SGS, FDA): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting with Private Sectors (Philippine Chamber of Handicrafts Inc., Phil Bamboo Foundation, Chamber of Furniture Industry of the Philippines, Philippine Coffee Alliance, Nestle Corporate Affairs, PhilFoodex, CEFE Network): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting with Communications Companies (Smart and PLDT): September 15, 2016
    • Meeting with DBP and SBCorp: September 15, 2016
  • Conducted wrap up meeting with key partner and oversight agencies, DOF, NEDA, DAR, DOST, DA and PCA.
  • Provided inputs to the draft version of the Aide Memoire on the IFAD-DTI Pre Design Mission, preparatory to the presentation to DTI executives and partner and oversight agencies.
  • Provided technical support to the conduct of Feasibility Study for the RAPID Growth Project:
    • Drafted Memorandum of Agreement with PIDS and Terms of Reference for the Feasibility Study, preparatory to negotiations for government-to-government procurement of conduct of FS for the RAPID project.
    • Prepared Terms of Reference (ToR) for the consultants for the 7 detailed investment plans and for the study team leader and Contract of Service for legal review and advice. Relatedly, also requested BAC’s approval to use the alternative mode of payment for the procurement of such services.
    • Facilitated Pre Design Meeting on Financing Component between IFAD experts, Mr. Tafiq Al Zabri and Mr Alain Soulard with the following institutions: Philippine National Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Small Business Corporation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, CARD-Pioneer Joint Venture, Securities and Exchange Commission, ACCESS and Jollibee Foundation
    • Coordination with the 7 consultants on the requirements of the project. The anchor firms identified by the 7 consultants were validated as indicated in the table below:
CLUSTER ANCHOR FIRMS SELECTED APPROVED BY
Wearables and Homestyles HoliCOW Store Gallery, Cebu City RD Aster Caberte
Rubber Marasigan Rubber Sheet Processing Plant, Kidapawan City RD Sitti Jain
Bamboo Cardona Multi Purpose Cooperative, Cardona, Rizal RD Judith Angeles
Coffee Hineleban Foundation, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon PD Juliet Lucas (representing RD Myrna)
Processed Fruits and Nuts Limonero Enterprise, Cagayan de Oro City RD Linda Boniao
Cacao Chokolate de San Isidro, Davao del Norte ARD Edwin Banquerigo
Coconut Oil/ Coir AG Pacific Nutraceutical Corporation, Padada, Davao del Sur ARD Marcelina Alcantara (as recommended by RD Belenda Ambi)
    • Conducted data gathering on the following clusters in areas as specified:
      • Engineered Bamboo in Cardona, Rizal
      • Virgin Coconut Oil in Davao del Sur
      • Hineleban Coffee (Arabica) in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
      • Processed Cacao in Davao del Norte
      • Wearables and Homestyles in Negros Occ and Cebu
      • Rubber in North Cotabato
      • Processed Fruits and Nuts in Misamis Oriental
    • Conduct of initial presentation of FS results among cluster coordinators, IFAD representative, BSMED, and SBCorp. The presentation elicited comments from cluster coordinators for revision and refinement of the studies/reports in preparation for the Design Mission
  • Provided technical support to the conduct of Design Mission:
    • Conduct of preparatory discussions with IFAD Manila office on the terms of reference and itinerary of the Design Mission
    • Conduct of kick off meeting and presentation of FS outputs to members of the Project Design Mission
    • Coordinated preparatory activities for the conduct of field visits to Regions X, XI, and XII by the Project Design Mission
    • Coordinated and participated in the conduct of Design Mission field visits to the following regions: Region XII/North Cotabato, Region XI, and Region X.
    • Coordinated and participated in focused discussions with stakeholders and prospective partner agencies:
      • Government and oversight agencies: BSP, NEDA, Cabinet Secretariat, DOF, DA, DAR, DOST, PCA, CDA, DSWD, SBCorp
      • Micro financial institutions
      • Non-government organizations
      • Business chambers and key corporations
    • Assisted the presentation of design mission initial results on 16 December 2016 at Holiday Inn Ortigas, Pasig City. Participants in the activity include BSP, NEDA, Cabinet Secretariat, DOF, DA, DAR, DOST, PCA, CDA, DSWD, SBCorp, key DTI bureaus, and attached agencies.  Comments by participants were incorporated in the revised Design Mission Aide Memoire.
    • Facilitated the drafting of feasibility studies by experts in the following sectors: coffee, cacao, engineered bamboo, processed fruits and nuts: calamansi, coconut: virgin coconut oil, rubber, and wearables and homestyles
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