By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform – Agriculture Credit Policy Council (MAFAR-ACPC) has extended an emergency loan assistance last Friday to the first batch of farmers, fisherfolks, and micro and small enterprises.
MAFAR Minister Dr. Mohammad Yacob; Deputy Minister Ammal D. Solaiman; MAFAR Maguindanao Provincial Head Abdulnasser K. Badawi; ACPC focal person Lindi Cati-ir; and OISCA Lending Conduit Manager Sammy Batao led the releasing of loans for the first batch of grantees who were from the province of Maguindanao.
A loan assistance amounting to P25,000.00 payable in 10 years at zero-percent interest was provided to the marginalized small farmers and fisherfolks (MSFF) to finance their emergency and production capital requirements.
Meanwhile, a working capital loan amounting to P10-million payable in 5 years at zero-percent interest was granted to micro and small enterprises that are engaged in agriculture and fisheries food production, delivery of products/commodities, and other activities in the supply chain to ensure the availability of food supply.
Said emergency loan assistance was provided through the Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project, in support of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat’’ Kontra sa Covid-19 (ALPAS Covid-19).
MAFAR Minister Yacob shared that the program has undergone challenges in the area of Maguindanao since it is the sole province in BARMM that has no qualified organizations to be a fund-conduit of DA-National.
Through the help of ACPC, organizations who are not yet eligible to avail loans will be provided with credit and capacity-building assistance.
“We [MAFAR] and the government are very much concerned of our farmers and fisherfolks. The ministry is here to help them improve their livelihood and alleviate them from poverty,” Yacob said.
“The ministry is committed to provide any form of assistance for the benefit of our marginalized farmers who struggle to survive daily,” he added.
Mohalidin Ensu, a 44-year old farmer from Datu Piang, Maguindanao who received P25,000 was thankful to the support given by the Bangsamoro Government. “Ang plano po namin ay gawing kapital ang perang natanggap at bibili rin ng kambing para pagkakitaan,” Ensu said.
ACPC focal person Cati-ir ensured that the provided emergency loan will create a huge impact on the farming job and will create a more sustainable livelihood for its beneficiaries. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL