The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has embarked on a benchmark survey for the Agricultural-Fisheries Financing Program (AFFP) under the AMCFP. The survey, which started in the second semester of 2014 and is expected to finish by the end of the first semester of 2015, is aimed at collecting baseline data on specific indicators that will be useful in monitoring and assessing the AMCFP-AFFP’s progress and effectiveness during and after program implementation.

Specifically, the survey seeks to: i) identify the socio-economic characteristics of small farmers and fisherfolk registered in the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) in the AMCFP AFFP priority areas; ii) examine the nature and extent of financial assistance currently being accessed from different sources by RSBSA-registered small farmers and fisherfolk in the AFFP priority areas; and iii) determine the credit needs of RSBSA-registered small farmers and fisherfolk in the AFFP priority areas.

The AMCFP-AFFP was initially funded with One Billion Pesos (P1,000,000,000) through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2013. The program is intended as a flexible credit facility for the benefit of small farmers registered in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA). As such, the facility is considered as an alternative to the rigid and stringent credit facilities usually provided by banks. The goal of the AMCFP-AFFP is to contribute to the attainment of inclusive growth through financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked sectors in agriculture. Funding for the program was appropriated to the ACPC. The program is being implemented in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the People’s Credit Finance Corporation (PCFC).

Through the benchmark assessment,conditions of the target clientele prior to program intervention shall be determined using relevant indicators. The baseline information that will be gathered shall serve as bases for measuring the impact of the program through changes happening over time, if any, in the socio-economic conditions of the program clientele, among others. The results of impact assessment, in turn, shall serve as bases for policy recommendations on improving program implementation and, possibly, for improving the design of future programs as well. The AMCFP-AFFP benchmark survey is being spearheaded by the ACPC’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Division headed by Cenon S. Atienza. Team leader for the project is Normando de Leon.

For the survey, a total of 2,460 RSBSA-listed farmers and fisherfolk shall be interviewed from 164 barangays and 82 municipalities in the 41 priority provinces.