ABATAN, Buguias – The second batch of women farmers belonging to the Lengaoan Indigenous Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LIFMPC) has received their financial loan assistance from the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council or DA-ACPC.
In the loan release activity, 126 LIFMPC small women Benguet farmer borrowers from Kabayan and Buguias, Benguet received P50,000 each, or a total of P6.3 million to support their High-Value Crop production activities under the AgriNegosyo Loan Program and Financial Assistance for Women in Agriculture (AGRIPINAY) program.
ACPC Division Chief Ding Pereryra said that this loan assistance under the AgriPinay program would serve as their investment for their farm production.
“The ACPC conducted this program which supports the Cordillera women farmers, and we initially released P1.76 million for 31 women farmers belonging to the first batch of beneficiaries from the LIFMPC in 2022. We would again like to emphasize to the 126-second batch beneficiaries that this assistance is not a grant but a loan wherein agreements to avail of the loan should strictly be followed,” Pereryra explained.
The AgriPinay Program, as part of the DA-ACPC’s Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming efforts, seeks to improve women’s access to rural credit and ensure their inclusion in the agri-fishery value chain, in order to better cope-up with the effects of the pandemic. The said program prioritized women as target beneficiaries that are members of the households of small farmers/fishers and women belonging to indigenous groups.
Jocelyn Beray, Regional Agri Credit Desk Officer (RACDO) of DA-CAR reiterated to the LIFMPC beneficiaries that ACPC being the credit arm of the DA fully supports women farmers through credit loan assistance like the AgriPinay program, and being the identified borrowers of the loan, they are obligated to pay back the loan provided by the ACPC.
“We just hope that as far as your submitted farm plan and budget, your loan will be used on what you have planned. During the orientation, a borrower is allowed up to P100,000 loan however in actuality, it should be commensurate with their area of production cost and requirement.” Beray stated.
Payment of the loan by the first and second batch borrowers of the LIFMPC will follow the maturity and mode of payment based on the cash flow of income-generating activities or target projects of the legitimate borrower, including their submitted farm plan.
Judith Anten-an, LIFMPC loans officer explained that the AgriPinay loan program of the DA-ACPC to the women farmers of LIFMPC is timely since 80 percent of the members are involved in the production of High-Value Crops, while the remaining members are involved in poultry and fish production, organic farming, Good Agricultural Practice or GAP, and conventional farming.
“We were assisted by the ACPC on how to fill up the documents needed for us to avail of the loan assistance, we appreciate the support of ACPC through the DA and we are hopeful that the fund for this loan program which is interest-free would increase and continue so that more farmers can avail of this especially here in our place wherein farming is the primary source of living,” Anten-an added.