Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Rural Development Community Strategic Planning Meeting Held at Cliff Rainbow

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): January 30, 1997 - The United States department of Agriculture's Rural Development Manager for the Western Pacific based in Guam, Nigel D. Parish, visited Pohnpei and conducted a strategic planning session at the Cliff Rainbow Hotel, January 27, 1997, for the invited representatives of churches, private schools, private businesses, banks and key staff of the local Rural Development office in Pohnpei State.

In his welcoming remarks, Community Development Manager Shelten G. Neth welcomed participants and urged for collective endeavor toward a successful partnership effort between USDA and the local communities. The three major areas of emphasis included the development of a Five-Year Strategic Plan for the development of rural areas; to encourage partnership between benefactor and beneficiaries; and to develop a program of informational Internet.

Western Pacific's Rural Development Manager Parish reviewed the mission and functions in three general areas of emphasis including Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants; Community Facility Loans; Water and Waste Disposal Community Programs Guaranteed Loans; and Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. Further details of each of the programs can be obtained from the Community Development Office staff in Kolonia.

According to official documents obtained, the Rural Development mission area was created in 1994 as a result of the reorganization of the United States Department of Agriculture, consisting of three new services: Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Services (RHS) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS). At the state and local levels, the programs of all three services are administered by Rural Development field offices.

Loans and grants for water and waste disposal, community facilities, guaranteed loans for community water and waste disposal are available to municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, Indian Tribes and corporations not operated for profit. Any legal entity, including individuals, public and private organizations are eligible to borrow under the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. The aim of this program is to create and maintain employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in the rural communities. This is achieved by expanding the existing private credit structure capability to make and service loans to provide lasting benefits. Administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of USDA's Rural Development, the program typically guarantees losses on up to 80 percent of the original loan amount. Inability to obtain other credit is not a requirement, the document stated.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356