• Agri dep’t approves P1.336B for reform beneficiaries

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    THE Department of Agriculture has approved the release of P1.336 billion for the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) to bankroll the credit requirements of 35,341 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) nationwide.

    The APCP – a joint program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform and Land Bank of the Philippines – received initial credit funding of P1 billion from the government in 2012. Another P1 billion was appropriated for the program in 2013.

    Agriculture Assistant Secretary Edilberto De Luna, who also chairs the national Program Management Committee of the APCP, said that the DA is now looking at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a potential partner.

    He said the agency likewise distributes alienable and disposable lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, through the issuance of certificate of land titles under their Patent Issuance and Community Based Forest Management Area programs.

    The APCP is designed primarily to provide loans to ARBs or ARB household members through ARB organizations and other farmers’ organizations to support individual or communal crop production projects, agri-enterprise, and other livelihood projects.

    Aside from credit for agricultural production, APCP provides institutional capacity building assistance to the eligible groups to enhance their access to credit and improve their viability. ARBs are likewise given technical assistance in managing their farm production projects.

    Since it began in 2012, the APCP has released P257.43 million in loans as of February 28, 2014. The released amount benefited 4,668 ARBs in the provinces of Agusan Del Sur, Albay, Aurora, Bukidnon, Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Isabela, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Sarangani Province, Sorsogon, and Sultan Kudarat.

    Agricultural projects funded include corn production (P5,186,630), palay and corn production (P545,153), palay and pineapple production (P1,980,967), palay production (P57,911,328), potato production (P845,000), and sugarcane production (P190,966,238).

    Loans in the pipeline currently being evaluated by Land Bank stand at P356.59 million spread across various provinces in the country. The APCP loans will be coursed through 86 potential ARB organizations.

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