The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) downloaded P5 million to Alamada Multi-Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) as initial credit fund for lending to marginal and small farmers of Banisilan, North Cotabato on 5 September 2017.

The fund is part of the P10 million allocation for the municipality of Banisilan under the PLEA Program. Banisilan is an upland second-class municipality in the province of North with a total land area of 57,722 hectares mostly devoted to agri-production of upland rice, corn, cassava, palm oil, rubber, banana, and sugarcane. The P5 million loan fund will benefit 200 farmer-members of 18 farmer associations (FAs) in the area.

The initial release came into fruition from a series of meetings starting in May 2017 when ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola and staff visited Banisilan and met with officers of farmer organizations and associations in the area to discuss financial needs for their farming activities. During the meeting coordinated by the office of Banisilan Mayor Jesus F. Alisasis, Executive Director Badiola talked to representatives of farmer organization/associations in line with the implementation of the program. Among the problems discussed was the lack of banks in the area. ACPC tapped Alamad Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) as partner financial institution in the implementation of the program in Banisilan including the neighboring municipality of Alamada. AMPC and the 18 FAs will conduct identification and screening of farmers qualified for the program.

ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola (fourth from right) discussed the program features of PLEA to representatives of farmer associations of Banisilan

Representatives of farmer associations cite lack of financial assistance to support farming activities as among the problems of small farmers in the municipality