LANDBANK’s assistance bears fruit for indigenous people’s co-op

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

For 26 years, Landan People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC) has been successful in financing the needs of its pineapple farmer-members—majority of whom belong to the B’laan tribe of Brgy. Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato and its neighboring barangays.

LPMPC was established in October 1993 by 33 pioneer members who are driven in providing financial support to indigenous farmers. In 1997, LPMPC tapped Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) as a partner to support their pineapple production, uplift the lives of its farmer-members, and improve the co-op’s economic activities.

“LANDBANK assisted our pineapple production growership program for our then 150-hectare land when we were just starting. And now, LANDBANK covers 1,120 hectares of LPMPC’s farm located in the provinces of Saranggani and South Cotabato,” said Edilyn Pabicon, General Manager of LPMPC.

The partnership between LPMPC and LANDBANK bore sweet fruits as the co-op grew to be one of the largest cooperatives in South Cotabato. It currently boasts of 2,239 members (1,031 regular and 1,208 associates). It also managed to expand its businesses, venturing to logistics and manpower services for various farm activities (ripping, plowing, harrowing, planting, hauling, harvesting and mobile packing) in pineapple plantations.

 

Empowering farmers in conflict-affected areas through collaboration

Recently, LPMPC once again trusted LANDBANK to finance its growing number of farmer-members. The co-op availed of the Bank’s HARVEST Program, which stands for Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation Loan Program. HARVEST is a tailored-fit financing facility from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and LANDBANK aimed at boosting the agriculture sector in and around the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and promoting lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

Through this new stride, LPMPC was able to expand its operations and improve its profitability. A total of 442 small farmers, 208 field workers, and 32 personnel of LPMPC now benefit from the financing through HARVEST for pineapple production.

The relationship of LPMPC and LANDBANK, however, goes beyond financing. The Bank also provides technical assistance to the co-op through skills trainings and workshops to further empower its farmer-members.

More importantly, the renewed partnership between the two helped establish a stable income for co-op members and generate jobs for the locals that are instrumental in creating a more peaceful and stable community, which is the main objective of the HARVEST Program.  

“We would like to thank LANDBANK for the continuous assistance that you provide for LPMPC. Because of your programs for us, LPMPC is able to succeed and achieve its goals for the benefit of our local farmers,” said Pabicon.