PRIMEX has successfully concluded negotiations with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the Development of the Philippine Rice Industry Roadmap (PRIR), 2021-2035 to be financed under TA-9971 REG: Southeast Asia Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development Facility – Phase II. The TA, to be implemented in close coordination with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), is aimed to substantially update the initial roadmap to a more holistic and forward-looking PRIR that will make the Philippine rice sector more competitive, resilient, and climate adaptive.
The PRIMEX Team was mobilized on 27 July 2021 and held its first team meeting on 30 July 2021. Chaired by Dr. Jerome Sison, PRIMEX Project Director for this TA, the meeting provided the nine-member consultant team with an overview of the project – its objectives and scope of work, deliverables and milestones, as well as the consultants’ roles and responsibilities. The team also discussed the preparation of the Inception Report, which is due for submission within two weeks from the issuance of ADB’s Notice to Proceed.
PRIMEX Director and Senior Adviser, Ms. Elvira C. Ablaza, said that the PRIR TA is important and strategic for both the Philippine Government and ADB.
“I think this project will be challenging, but with an excellent Team Leader and a strong team of specialists with impressive credentials in their respective fields of specialization, I believe that it will be one remarkable and incredible experience. It is also an excellent anniversary present, as PRIMEX turns 32 on 7 August 2021.”Elvira C. Ablaza, PRIMEX Director and Senior Adviser
The PRIMEX Team is led by Dr. Mark Rosegrant, an eminent, internationally renowned and multi-awarded agriculture economist who served as Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC for 15 years.
Dr. Rosegrant first worked in the Philippines as Economist at the then Ministry of Agriculture (now DA) in the early years of his career, and he continues to be involved in the country’s agriculture sector through the conduct of policy and research projects. One of his important contributions to Philippine agriculture is the development of a Philippine computable general equilibrium model, which has served to arm government officials and policymakers, as well as farmers, with climate-smart strategies in formulating policies and investment priorities, developing a climate-resilient agriculture sector, and assuring food security. His model is now known as the NEDA-IFPRI model and is still used today by economic planners.
The other members of the PRIMEX Team are Dr. Gamini Keerthisinghle, International Crop Diversification Expert; Dr. Manuel Palada, National Rice Technical Expert; Dr. Roberto Acosta, National Agribusiness/Marketing Specialist; Mr. Virgilio Cabezon, Policy and Institutions Specialist; Dr. Antonio Avila Jr., Finance Specialist; Ms. Antonia Carlos, Socioeconomist/Gender Specialist; Mr. Cesar Umali Jr., Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist; and Mr. Jay Lowell Payuyo, Information Technology Specialist. The consultants will be supported by Ms. Rutchel Macasa, Project Manager; Ms. Jillian Villamayor, Project Coordinator; and Ms. Kathrina Cada, Finance and Administrative Officer.