LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—A United Nations specialized agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries is conducting an impact assessment study on its funded Department of Agriculture Irrigated Rice Production Enhancement Project or IRPEP in six provinces in Regions 6, 8 and 10.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development or IFAD has funded the IRPEP, which is a major component of the DA's Rapid Food Production Enhancement Programme or RaFPEP.
IFAD has commissioned the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture or SEARCA to conduct the data collection of its impact assessment of the IRPEP.
Paul Winters, IFAD Research and Impact Assessment Division director, said the RaFPEP was completed in December 2016 and implemented to increase food production by farmers in clustered irrigated rice production systems on a sustainable basis.
Winters said RaFPEP had more than 100 community irrigation system beneficiaries in its covered provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Antique in Region 6; Northern Leyte and Western Samar in Region 8; and Bukidnon in Region 10.
He said SEARCA will conduct a survey of more than 2,000 households, 16 focus group discussions (FGD), and 24 key informant interviews (KII).
"The survey's purpose is to estimate the project's impact on the household beneficiaries and partner irrigators' associations," Winters said.
Earlier, SEARCA conducted a training from Feb. 27 to March 5 for enumerators to ensure that they will properly administer the IFAD-approved paper and tablet questionnaires as well as pilot-testing of the survey instruments.
Also on hand were field supervisors, representatives from the National Irrigation Administration, and RaFPEP officers.
Winters presented the overall perspective of the IRPEP as well as the rationale and objectives of the seven-day enumerators training in Cagayan de Oro City and other topics were discussed by Daniel James Higgins and Aslihan Arslan.
Dr. Walfredo R. Rola, the project manager, was the lead person for the training, while Higgins is the focal person for the IFAD-led impact assessment.
SEARCA project team will start collecting data in the field through FGDs and KIIs with the regional and provincial program staff and irrigators' associations in Bukidnon.
Meanwhile, the DA is helping the impact assessment team in arranging the FGDs and KIIs and endorsing them to concerned agencies.