Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Allan Q. Umali representing DA Secretary and  ACPC Chair Proceso J. Alcala, together with Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Executive Director Jovita M.  Corpuz, and Ms Adeliza Gabalfin representing Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Secretary Virgilio R. De Los Reyes turned over P500 M to the Landbank of the Philippines represented by its First Vice President Leila Martin for the expansion of funding support of  the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP). The check turn-over ceremony coincided with the celebration of ACPC’s 30th Anniversary on April 30, 2016 at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City.

The APCP, a joint program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) aims to provide credit support for crop production to newly organized and existing agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) and farmers’ organizations (FOs) not qualified to avail themselves of loans under the regular credit windows of banks.

The program’s specific objectives are: 1) To provide credit assistance to ARBs or ARB household members through their respective organizations or  other conduits to support their individual or communal  crop production projects; 2) To ensure sustainable production of crops and increase the income of ARBs or their household members through other support services such as marketing, crop insurance, and farming facilities; and 3) To strengthen the ARBOs and improve the capabilities of ARBs through institutional capability building activities.

The APCP has three (3) components, namely: 1) Agricultural Production Credit; 2) Agricultural Production and Financial Management Support; and 3) Institutional Capacity Building.

Under the Agricultural Production Credit component, new and existing ARBs or ARB household members, particularly those who have recently acquired their landholdings through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) will be provided with loans for crop production.  These  loans will be coursed through ARB organizations and FOs (other than ARBOs) that shall act as credit conduits for their respective members.

Under the Agricultural Production and Financial Management Support component, technical assistance relevant to the project/s financed shall be given to loan conduits.  This is to ensure the proper use of the loan by both the conduits and the ARB end-beneficiaries. The DA or other appropriate institutions/technical experts shall provide technical assistance for agricultural production management. These experts shall assess the farm requirements, recommend appropriate technologies and monitor farm production of the ARBs. Financial management assistance, on the other hand, will be done by deploying technical experts who shall assist the conduits in providing timely credit to end-beneficiaries.

Under the Institutional Capacity Building component, institutional strengthening will be given to eligible conduits to ensure their viability and sustainability. A package of interventions aimed at increasing their organizational maturity will be given to eligible conduits. This includes setting up organizational vision, operational policies, systems and procedures, and good governance. It will also facilitate enterprise development to guarantee the feasibility and profitability of agricultural production projects and other business services of the eligible conduits.

Loans released under the APCP as of December 2015 reached P1.9 billion benefitting 526 ARBOs or total of 31,036 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). It is envisioned that the additional P500 M funding support would benefit more ARBOs and ARBs.

The APCP is operationalized through its Program Management Committee (PMC) composed of DA Assistant Secretary Edilberto M. de Luna as chair, DAR Undersecretary Rosalina L. Bistoyong  as vice-chair, Landbank Executive Vice President Cecilia C. Borromeo as vice-chair, Department of Finance (DoF) Assistant Secretary Editha Z. Tan,  DENR Director Emelyne V. Talabis as members and Ms Lanie Factor of Task Force Mapalad and and Mr. John Bugaling of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) as Farmer Sector Representatives. The PMC is ably assisted by its Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Exec. Dir. Jovita M. Corpuz as chair, Landbank Vice President Leila C. Martin as vice-chair and DAR Director Susana E. Leones  and Mr Henry P. Pacis, National Coordinator of DENR-CARP as members. To assist both the PMC and the TWG in the performance of their tasks is the Program Secretariat composed of representatives from DA, ACPC, DAR and Landbank.