The Promoting Rural Industries and Market Enhancement (PRIME, 2005-2011) was a Cad$6.8 million six-year project with Cad$4.8M grant provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). PRIME’s expected impact was to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas; this was to be achieved by supporting the development of rural enterprises within the organic and natural products sector (e.g., organic rice, organic muscovado sugar, and seaweeds) resulting in the enhancement of food security, increased household income and generation of jobs and employment for both men and women.
PRIME had four components a) Micro-enterprise Development, b) Enhancing Participation in the Market, c) Program and Policy Analyses in Support of Rural Micro-Enterprises/Industries, and d) Strengthened Institutional Capacity of PDAP.
The main beneficiaries of PDAP’s programs were the rural poor communities composed of farmers, small seaweed farmers, women groups, indigenous communities and other vulnerable sectors in the communities. In PRIME, PDAP sharpened its focus by working with rural enterprising communities (RECs). These RECs were communities who had indications of entrepreneurial capacities and ventured into micro-enterprises. These RECs consisted of farmer associations, agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and cooperatives.
In the PRIME Program, PDAP implemented various interventions such as capacity building which include training, technical assistance, mentoring, and coaching on enterprise and organizational management; providing access to finance through guaranties, loans and equity participation; facilitation of market linkages; and, policy support and advocacy to enhance partners’ participation in the market. These interventions allowed it to work simultaneously at various levels – directly with rural producers and their households, with their associations, with the supply and value chains, with clusters, with local government units, with industry associations and national government agencies.
PRIME resulted in the increase in income of the farmer members, both men and women, of the 42 Micro Enterprises (MEs) assisted, created more jobs and contributed to food security. The 42 MEs have established viable rural micro-enterprises. MEs with industry potentials were scaled up and connected with the market through appropriate market-participation mechanisms. Industry-specific and gender equitable policy reform initiatives developed and directed towards relevant government agencies (national and local) that regulate and assist rural enterprises/industries. It enhanced PDAP organizational capacity leading towards its long-term institutional sustainability.
The Child Focused Community Development (CFCD) Program is a one – year program by PDAP in partnership with Kindernothilfe (KnH) in Sibutu Island. The target beneficiaries of this program were the mothers, children and the communities in Sibutu Island, Tawi – Tawi.
Through the CFCD Program, communities were organized into Self – Help Groups (SHeGs). These SHeGs were strengthened through the conduct of trainings and activities which taught them to plan and implement projects; capital build up through savings; and encouraged them to link with other service providers such as the LGUs. Cluster Level Associations (CLA) were also formed to ensure the sustainability of their development through self-help.
The program also helped develop and strengthen the linkages with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Sibutu and other project stakeholders which will later on served as partners of the SHeGs in implementing different projects that addressed the issues and concerns of the communities, most especially in terms of social services.
The Seaweeds Enterprise Action Working for Empowerment and Economic Development (SEAWEED) Project is a three year project (March 2011 to August 31, 2014) implemented in the Caraga region in partnership with Fundacion CODESPA and funded by Agencia Española de Cooperacion International para el Desarollo (AECID). The project was a replication of a project in Sitangkai under the PRIME Program. It aimed to scale-up the seaweed industry in the Caraga region through the adoption of new seaweed farming technology, strengthening of the seaweed farmers’ organizations, and linking the seaweed farmers to the market and financial institutions.
The main beneficiaries of the SEAWEED project are 18 seaweed farmer associations in the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte. PDAP provided business development services to the PO partners. These included capacity development interventions such as training, technical assistance, mentoring, and coaching on enterprise and organizational management, seaweed technology improvement, providing access to financial institutions, facilitating market linkages, and policy support and advocacy.
The SEAWEED Project contributed to pro-poor growth in the Caraga region particularly in Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte. The project increased the income of seaweed farmers while providing employment opportunities to both men and women as a result of the interventions intended to increase productivity and enhance the marketability/competitiveness of the seaweed products. The project resulted in (a) improved seaweeds industry with access to stable markets; (b) economically viable and sustainable seaweed farmers associations; and, (c) increased household income through value-adding products.