Santiago, Agusan Norte – International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Associate Vice President for External Relations and Governance Charlotte Salford visited the abaca project in Santiago, Agusan del Norte last May 5-6, 2018.

Speaking before the officers and farmer-members of the San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO), Salford said she is happy to see how IFAD and the government worked together for the farmers.

“It is exciting to see how much potential there is when farming families and indigenous peoples when they are engaged in value chain and are provided with access to market, technology and financing”, she stressed.

With Salford is the IFADs Director for APL and Special Assistant to the IFAD President Wei Wang and Country Program Officer Jerry Pacturan.

SIUFMULCO is the lead agrarian reform beneficiary organization of the on-going Integrated Enhancement Enterprise on Abaca Value Chain under the Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (Project ConVERGE) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Under the Project ConVERGE, about P180 million worth of assistance will be provided to SIUFMULCO and its 20 other participating organizations within the agrarian reform community cluster in Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago.

Attending the IFAD officials during their visit were Project ConVERGE’s National Project Director Faisar Mambuay and Agusan del Norte Provincial Project Manager Andre Atega.

Project ConVERGE is a USD52 project funded by IFAD to benefit 11 agrarian reform community clusters in the 10 provinces in Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga Region. During the activity, SIUFMULCO Manager Leonora Mila expressed thanks to the DAR and IFAD Projects. SIUMULCO is also a recipient of the then IFAD-supported Northern Mindanao Communities Initiatives and Resource Management (NMCIREMP).

“You came at a time when we needed you the most”, she said. “Your interventions will not only improve our organization, but will uplift the living condition of the farmers like us,” Mila added.