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Palay farmers in Antique thrive through DAR-DA-LANDBANK convergence


August 17, 2020

Barbaza Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc. (BFIA) successfully ventured into palay trading through the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) of Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK).

BARBAZA, Antique – The combined efforts of government institutions led by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and Land Bank of the Philippine (LANDBANK) have helped uplift the lives of palay farmers and irrigators in this 4th class municipality through its successful palay trading business.

Jose Mario Rico Magtulis, president of the Barbaza Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc. (BFIA), credits the collaboration among different government agencies as instrumental for them to extend assistance to their 708 members, with 217 of them being agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Through the DAR, BFIA was able to avail of a P1.0M-credit line under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) of LANDBANK in 2016, which they used as working capital for this new business. But before this, they also received various pre- and post-harvest facilities from DAR and DA, through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

“Dati siyempre NIA lang ang nagbibigay sa amin ng support. Nung pumasok sa amin si DAR, nalaman naming yung APCP loan at nakapasok naman kami sa LANDBANK na naging tulay para makatulong kami sa aming mga members,” said Magtulis.

According to Magtulis, diversifying their association’s business into palay trading helped their farmers sell their crops at competitive prices.“Dahil sa APCP, nakatulong kami sa farmers kasi assured na yung kanilang produce ay mabibili. Yung association na ang bumibili ng kanilang palay, hindi na sila lugi,” he added.

Equipped with a mechanical dryer, BFIA turns the palay they purchased from their farmer-members into rice, which are sold in their retail stores or distributed to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as one of the accredited suppliers of the program in the province.

BFIA currently covers a total of 706 hectares in 12 barangays of the municipality. Aside from buying the produce of their farmer-members, BFIA was also able to generate employment through APCP, hiring 32 additional personnel for their palay trading and irrigation system.

Despite the drop in the farmgate price of palay, Magtulis assured that they remain committed to supporting their members through continued patronage of their crops. This kind of dedication for their members through the years has won for them the DA’s Best Irrigation Association in the National Level Category in 2018.

Moving forward, BFIA is looking at expanding its business by venturing into fertilizers and farm inputs trading to further increase the income of their farmer-members, still with the help of LANDBANK and other government agencies.

“Through LANDBANK, meron kaming assurance na patuloy kaming magnenegosyo kaya patuloy rin kaming magsisikap, at patuloy naming gagawin ang lahat para makapagbigay kami ng magandang serbisyo sa aming mga farmer-members,” Magtulis said.

The APCP is a joint program of DAR and LANDBANK, which aims to achieve sustainable crop production and increase the income of ARBs and their households through the provision of credit and capacity building assistance.

Aside from APCP, LANDBANK also partnered with DAR to introduce the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries (AFFORD-ARBs) Program last year, which provided loans to finance the production of rice, corn, high-value crops, as well as farm implements. Outstanding loans for this Program in 2019 reached P100.86 million, which was availed by 523 farmer-borrowers and a cooperative.

For more information, log-on to LANDBANK’s official website at https://www.landbank.com/agrarian-operations or call the Bank’s Agrarian Services Group at (02) 8-405-7363, or visit the nearest LANDBANK Lending Center located nationwide.


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