Php48.3-M credit line to 28 farmer  groups in Sultan Kudarat

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WEB NATL 20151014 SKUDARAT APCPphotoThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently approved a Php48,342,200.00 credit line through Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to 28 agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) ) to finance rice and corn production in  Sultan Kudarat.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO) Rodolfo Alburo said the approved credit lines are granted under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP).
He said that the credit program, a project of DAR in partnership with the LBP,   aims to achieve sustainable crop production and increase household income of ARBs by providing them capital for farm inputs.
“The credit line for each ARBO vary according to the number of ARB members and the number of hectares applied for each organization,” Alburo explained.  
Among the 28 ARBOs, 19 of them have already availed themselves of a total amount of P25,691,766.66 and  nine  farmer organizations are awaiting for the  scheduled release.
“Last year, five of these ARBOS received financing under APCP amounting to P11,168,485.00. They are now for second release this year,” Alburo added.
DAR Sultan Kudarat started the APCP program first quarter of 2014.
Iglecerio Catiil, LBP Account Officer for APCP in Sultan Kudarat said that APCP implements only 8.5% per annum interest rate, with an interest rebate of 2 percent if payment is made on time. The ARBO is given 150-180 days to pay the said loan to LBP.
“We allow ARBOs to pass on an all-in interest rate of 15 percent per annum, including service charge,” Catiil said.
He said that if farmers borrow money from traders, they would usually get at least 10% per month interest rate. “So imagine how APCP could actually help them if they take the program seriously and pay their amortization diligently,” Catiil stressed.
He added that APCP has a built-in insurance plan for the members and their immediate family in case of accident and death and for their crops in case of damage due to typhoons or other forms of calamities.
Rodel  Palmares, a member of KM 14 HVC Farmers Association, Inc. in Bagumbayan town shared that he has been borrowing money from traders for almost 10 years now to finance his farming needs. His borrowed money had reached over a hundred thousand pesos and had difficulty paying it off.
“I was forced to sell a parcel of my land to a trader as payment for all my debts”, Palmares said.
While a 10% interest rate per month from traders still enabled him to gain income, he said he earns much more when he borrows money for farm inputs from the APCP. (Jose Jemuel B. Dael)