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IFC to Help Train Filipino Farmers to Improve Productivity, Business Skills, and Access to Finance

Manila, the Philippines, May 22, 2014 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will be working with Bayer CropScience Inc. to train 100,000 Filipino farmers in the next five years to improve their farm practices, use of new technologies, and business and financial skills. The program will also help facilitate the farmers’ access to financing so they can invest in their farms and increase their incomes.
In the Philippines, 40 percent of its land is used for agriculture, which employs nearly one in every three working Filipinos. The agriculture sector contributed 12 percent to the Philippine gross domestic product in 2012, down from 14 percent in 2000 and 22 percent in 1990. The decline was due to poor irrigation systems and other agricultural infrastructure, an inefficient transport and logistics chain, the high costs for seeds, fertilizers and machineries as well as the lack of training for farmers to improve their production methods and financial literacy. Poverty in agricultural households is three times higher than in other sectors.
“The low productivity of Philippine farms will put the country at a disadvantage once the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations begins,” said Bayer CropScience President and Managing Director Hans-Joachim Wegfahrt. “This is part of the reason for this training project, which will leverage IFC’s global expertise in reducing rural poverty and Bayer CropScience’s experience in boosting farm productivity to benefit Filipino farmers.”
Through this project, which is supported by the government of Canada, IFC will work with Bayer CropScience to train farmers on their crop production and financial management skills. The project also aims to complement and reinforce the training with communication tools such as emailed pamphlets and online videos in order to effectively reach the estimated 100,000 farmers throughout the country.
“The majority of poor Filipinos still live and work in farms, and their incomes have been affected by the decline in farm productivity and competitiveness,” said IFC Resident Representative Jesse Ang. “IFC is helping them through this training project and other programs that improve post-harvest facilities, reform shipping and food safety processes, and develop affordable agri-insurance products."  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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