Panama’s rural poor to benefit from UN-backed development project
IFAD is providing a $4.2 million loan towards the six-year, $12.3 million project, under an agreement signed today in Rome by the agency’s President Lennart Båge and the Ambassador of Panama to IFAD, Eudoro Jaén Esquivel.
The project targets the five poorest districts of Veraguas Province in central Panama and those whose annual income is less than $953. It will focus on promoting new income-generating activities and identifying new national and international markets to sell produce.
To help the region’s farmers, the project will provide basic inputs and technical assistance to increase productivity, as well as programmes to enhance access to micro-credit and to improve their business skills.
The project will feature an innovative “territorial development council,” consisting of local government representatives, producers and community groups who will make up the main decision-making body.
IFAD has now financed eight rural development and poverty eradication projects in Panama, committing over $80 million.