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DAR: Negros Farmers Ok’d For P131-M Loan

Agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to 34 farmers’ organizations in Negros Occidental have secured more than P131 million in production loan for the first five months of the year. The loan amount will cover the production requirements of 3,473 CARP beneficiaries and their household members.
In a report submitted to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Land Bank of the Philippines noted that it has approved a total of P131,021,700.00 in loan applications from Negros Occidental farmers under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP).
Of the approved amount, a total of P34,075,802.00 has already been released as of June 7, 2013.
Jeffrey Maningo, Head of the Land Bank’s Negros Occidental Lending Center, explained that the balance would be released to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries’ Organizations (ARBOs) upon submission of required documents.
Maningo sent the report to Assistant Regional Director Florentino Siladan on June 10, 2013.  Before that, Maningo and DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Jerry Pacturan held a consultation meeting between DAR and Land Bank personnel in Bacolod City.
The biggest amount released went to the Negros Island Savings Coop (NISCO), which received P21.9 million of the P30-million approved loan.  NISCO has another P72 million loan application pending at the Land Bank.
The ARBOs that received more than P1-million loans include Sta. Isabel ARB Farmers’ Organizations (P1.887-M), Hacienda Carmenchica ARB and FW Association (P1.807-M), Hacienda Bernardita ARB MPC (P1.504-M), Hacienda Malaga Cuenca AR Coop (P1.438-M), CASA Agrarian Reform Cooperative (P1.284-M), and Association of San German ARB (P1.062-M).
Pacturan said the DAR has endorsed to the Land Bank the loan application of ARBOs in various parts of the country.  The production loan would benefit farmers and farmworkers who were awarded farm lots under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
The APCP, a joint program of the DAR, Land Bank, and the Department of Agriculture, is a new credit program for agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) approved by President Benigno C. Aquino, III with a P1 billion funding.
The APCP aims to provide credit support for crop production to newly organized as well as existing ARBOs and farmers’ organizations (FOs) not qualified to avail themselves of loans under the regular credit windows of banks.
The program’s specific objectives are: 1) To provide credit assistance to ARBs or ARB household members through their respective organizations or other conduits to support their individual or communal crop production projects; 2) To ensure sustainable production of crops and increase the income of ARBs or their household members through other support services such as marketing, crop insurance, and farming facilities; and 3) To strengthen the ARBOs and improve the capabilities of ARBs through institutional capability building activities.
The APCP has three (3) components, namely: 1) Agricultural Production Credit; 2) Agricultural Production and Financial Management Support; and 3) Institutional Capacity Building.
Under the Agricultural Production Credit component, new and existing ARBs or ARB household members will be provided with loans for crop production. These loans will be coursed through ARB organizations and FOs (other than ARBOs) that shall act as credit conduits for their respective members.
Under the Agricultural Production and Financial Management Support component, technical assistance relevant to the project/s financed shall be given to loan conduits. This is to ensure the proper use of the loan by both the conduits and the ARB end-beneficiaries.
The DA or other appropriate institutions/technical experts shall provide technical assistance for agricultural production management. These experts shall assess the farm requirements, recommend appropriate technologies and monitor farm production of the ARBs. Financial management assistance, on the other hand, will be done by deploying technical experts who shall assist the conduits in providing timely credit to end-beneficiaries.
Under the Institutional Capacity Building component, institutional strengthening will be given to eligible conduits to ensure their viability and sustainability. A package of interventions aimed at increasing their organizational maturity will be given to eligible conduits. This includes setting up organizational vision, operational policies, systems and procedures, and good governance. It will also facilitate enterprise development to guarantee the feasibility and profitability of agricultural production projects and other business services of the eligible conduits.

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