DAR-NATCCO launches MICOOP in Bukidnon
by Editha R. Salvador
Cagayan de Oro City (18 February) -- The Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives (MICOOP) is a modeling activity initiated by the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) to enable relatively weak agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) cooperatives (ARC) to provide bank-like financial services through the build-operate-adopt-transfer (BOAT) scheme.
NATCCO has pilot tested the scheme since calendar year 2007 under the AGRISOL program, a rural finance partnership endeavor between the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), through the Second Agrarian Reform Community Development Project (ARCDP 2), and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).
The first batch of 5 ARC cooperatives covered by the scheme has been successfully transformed into MICOOP models.
Thus, DAR through the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) and NATCCO forged a partnership in September 2008 for the implementation of ARC MICOOP Modeling Project (AMMP).
With funding support from ARCDP 2, the second batch of another 5 ARC cooperatives was able to establish their respective MICOOP offices.
In view of the impressive performance of the 10 pilot MICOOP models, and in line with the operational directives for mainstreaming and sustainability of ARCDP 2 MICOOP initiatives within DAR, the DAR-LBP Credit Assistance Program National Program Management Committee, in its meeting on 28 May 2009, approved the 3-year implementation of the Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives in Agrarian Reform Areas (MICOOP@ARAS).
The program covers the continuing capacity building of the existing 10 ARC MICOOP models and the expansion of the program to another 10 provinces in order to reach a greater number of ARBs.
In Region 10, Bukidnon is the lone province so far identified as beneficiary of the program with the Springside Irrigators and Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (SIFAMCO) as the MICOOP model.
The SIFAMCO office opened its services to the public after its launching on 08 February 2010 in North Poblacion ARC, Municipality of Maramag.
SIFAMCO was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority in 1998 with initial 32 members.
As MICOOP model, SIFAMCO now offers microfinancing and agricultural loan services not only to its present 88 farmer-members but to other qualified farmers, as well. (Department of Agrarian Reform) [top]