Rice and corn farmers in Sultan Kudarat belonging to 28 agrarian-reform beneficiary organizations (Arbo) now have access to a P48-million credit line courtesy of the Land Bank of the of Philippines (LandBank), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said in a statement.
DAR Sultan Kudarat Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Rodolfo Alburo said the approved credit lines are granted under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) being implemented by the DAR and LandBank.
The credit program aims to achieve sustainable crop production and increase household income of agrarian-reform beneficiaries (ARBs) by providing them capital for farm inputs.
The credit line for each Arbo varies according to the number of ARB members and the number of hectares applied for each organization.
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. They are now for second release this year,” Alburo added.
DAR Sultan Kudarat started the APCP program in the first quarter of 2014.
Iglecerio Catiil, LandBank account officer for APCP in Sultan Kudarat, said that APCP implements only 8.5-percent per annum interest rate, with an interest rebate of 2 percent if payment is made on time.
The Arbo is given 150 to 180 days to pay the said loan to LandBank.
“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 percent per month interest rate.
The 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, he added.