LA PAZ, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 16 - Over a thousand farmers were hopeful as they gathered for a day-long roll out of Accessible Funds for Delivery to ARBs (AFFORD-ARBs), a P5-billion direct financial assistance by the Land Bank of the Philippines in coordination with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Philippine Crop Insurance Company (PCIC) and the Local Government Unit on August 13, 2019 at La Paz Municipal Gymnasium, this province.
This initiative complies with Presidential Directive No. 2018-0176 dated April 24, 2018 to reach out to farmers and provide them with financial assistance for their agricultural needs as well as timely provide credit assistance to small farmers for crop production and acquisition of small farm implements at an interest rate of six percent per annum.
"We will help you in any way we can and provide you with the right assistance so that we will grow together. All we have to do is help each other to realize our goal for a better future," said Arnel Caalim, manager of the Land Bank of the Philippines.
AFFORD-ARBs caters to individual farmers rather than through an association or cooperative. Eligible borrowers are individual holders of the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), must engage in rice, corn and high valued crops, an actual tiller or directly supervising of at least 0.5 but not to exceed 3.0 hectares.
"Our office will provide the list of landowners to LBP as their basis for the authenticity of a CLOA holder and we will handle loan orientation for borrowers and financial literacy seminars," CARPO Fe Mosquera said.
"Through this program, the farmers will have the chance to increase their productivity and income, and we are aiming this to happen to our farmer-beneficiaries in 14 municipalities across the province," added Mosquera.
Account Officer of the Land Bank of the Philippines Dindo Dinopol urged the farmers to avail of the program.
He also conducted an interview/ verification of documents for farmer-loan applicants right after an orientation.
Meanwhile, the PCIC also conducted an orientation about their program and services on the same day and urged the farmers to insure their crops and livestock to guarantee a money back in case of calamities. (Rechel D. Besonia, DAR-Agusan del Sur/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)