A total of 97 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from the different municipalities of North Cotabato availed themselves of a combined loan amount of Php44,031,587 from the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) credit assistance loan program to boost their agricultural production.
The credit assistance loan is funded by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) through the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs) program to fund the production of rice, corn, and high-value crops, and for the acquisition of small farm equipment.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Charish Paña said the loan granted to the ARBs would be used for the enhancement of their banana production, rice production, corn production, and mango and pomelo production, which were released in tranches.
“The AFFORD-ARBs program is an improved lending program offered to individual ARBs, who were provided with basic financial knowledge to allow them to optimize their loans to improve their income, generate savings, and boost their productivity, ” she said.
Paña added that DAR would continue to provide the ARBs with support services such as technical assistance on their chosen commodities, coaching and mentoring, and other capacity development interventions.
Of the 97 ARBs, 39 were from Arakan, 17 from Pres Roxas, 12 from Carmen and Alamada, 10 from Magpet, three from Pikit, and one each from Makilala, Matalam, Kabacan, and Pigcawayan.
Provincial AFFORD-ARBs program Point Person Roland Daquio said these ARBs were provided with financial literacy seminars prior to the release of their loans, which offers a very lower interest rate at 5% per annum.
“The ARBs had already received their first and second tranches of loan to fund their agri-production project, while the third tranche will be released depending on the crop status based on their submitted farm plan and budget,” he said.
He added that some of the beneficiaries had already started paying their loan amortization based on the issued statement of account by the LBP.
Daquiao also disclosed that some Php9,583,816.00 were already approved and will be released to 18 ARBs upon the completion of documentary requirements. Likewise, the application of 12 ARBs with a combined amount of Php10,467,162.00 is expected to be released after the review and approval at the LBP Lending Center in Kidapawan City.
The AFFORD-ARBs program is in compliance with Presidential Directive No. 2018-0176 dated April 14, 2018, which directs LBP in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and DAR to reach out to farmers and provide them with financial assistance for their agricultural needs.