By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese government will turn over to the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday some 7,000 metric tons of fertilizers to "help local farmers improve their productivity in the next cropping season."
The aid is part of Japan's 8th Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) to the Philippines, according to the Japanese Embassy in Pasay City.
The 8th NPGA, signed in February 2009 by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Makoto Katsura and Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, calls for the provision of 42,184 metric tons of fertilizers to the agriculture department.
The fertilizers are worth 700 million yen (about P354 million), the embassy said.
Akio Isomata, minister for economic affairs of the Japanese mission, will turn over the fertilizer shipment to Crispulo Bautista, technical director of DA-Region I, during simple turnover rites at Poro Point in La Union province.
Earlier, the department's offices in Iloilo, Davao and Batangas cities received similar shipments.
For the past 20 years, Japan has provided 15.8 billion yen (about P8 billion) worth of NPGAs to the Philippines, enabling the government to "procure commodities, such as fertilizers, soybean meal and fuel oil, which are necessary for the country to improve its economic structure."
It has also allocated over $1 billion in development assistance to the country in the past eight years.
The funds went to projects aimed at improving health care and education, developing basic infrastructure, the transportation network and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao; maintaining a stable supply of electric power; and supporting livelihood activities of the poor in rural areas nationwide.
Japanese aid "firmly supports the Philippine government's initiatives to reduce poverty and further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries," the embassy said.
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