Yap OKs agri-fishery microfinance program
Manila (8 October) -- As one of the top five priorities of the agriculture sector, Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, ex-officio Chairman of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), recently approved the guidelines for implementation of the new innovative financing scheme, the Agri-Fishery Microfinance Program (AFMP).
Earlier, Sec. Yap and the ACPC Council approved Resolution No. 31-01, series of 2007, creating the AFMP and mandating the ACPC to provide the AFMP some P200 million from the Agro-Industry Modernization Credit and Financing Program (AMCFP), the government's umbrella financing program for agriculture and fisheries.
The AFMP seeks to increase the amount of credit support to the priority commodities and special priority zones of the Department of Agriculture (DA) by leveraging the P200 million program allocation with an initial P1.5 billion counterpart fund by Land Bank, the program's implementing agency.
The program welcomes the participation of both Land Bank-accredited and non-accredited conduits which were grouped into three (3) types. Type 1 conduits are those accredited by Land Bank that passed its Risk Asset Acceptance Criteria (RAAC). Type 2 are Land Bank-accredited conduits that have not passed the RAAC. Type 3 are those that are currently not accredited by the Land Bank, but are deemed vital in providing finance services to the prioritized sectors of the DA.
The AFMP will give first priority to the following commodities: rice, corn, high value crops such as banana, rubber, pineapple, vegetables, etc., poultry, livestock and fishery products. The program's first set of priority areas comprises all the provinces of the Bicol Region.
The AFMP will have two components: the micro-finance and the value chain financing modules.
The microfinance module will enable credit retailers to extend smaller loans to small farming or fishing households for any or a combination of farm, off-farm and non-farm activities. The loan amount to small farmers and fishers shall depend on their assessed repayment capacity based on their households' cash flow, but not to exceed P50,000 per borrower.
The value chain financing module allows credit retailers to extend loans or financial services to support the appropriated value chain activities, such as production, processing and marketing that have forward or backward links with small farmers and fishers. Financing limit per sub-borrower is P100,000.
The program's loan facilities for micro-financing retailers include: portfolio rediscounting; term loan; and working capital loan. (PIA-MMIO) [top]