THE first batch of approved loan for five cooperatives qualified under the Mangunguma Sapnayon Palay Price Support Program of Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. was released Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
The approved loan amounting to a total of P23 million will be an additional capital for the palay trading business of the following cooperatives:
* Dingle Multipurpose Cooperative -- P10 million
* Zarraga Multipurpose Cooperative -- P5 million
* Barotac Nuevo Development Cooperative -- P5 million
* Kooperatiba Naton Multipurpose Cooperative -- P2 million
* Kabalikat Multipurpose Cooperative -- P1 million
Eleven cooperatives and two irrigators associations signified their interest to avail themselves of the loan but only 10 were found qualified by the technical working group and project management board after a thorough evaluation and validation of their loan application documents.
The other five cooperatives qualified to avail themselves of the loan were Pototan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (IRPC Branch), Sta. Barbara (Facoma) Multipurpose Cooperative, Southern Iloilo Area Multipurpose Cooperative, Guintapagin Agrarian Reform Cooperative and San Julian Multipurpose Cooperative.
Chief Cooperative Development Specialist Arturo Cangrejo said the loan of the other five cooperatives will be released upon the liquidation of their previous loans with the Provincial Government, specifically in the Provincial Livelihood Project Fund (PLPF) of the Provincial Cooperative Development Office.
Unlike the six percent interest rate of PLPF, the Mangunguma Sapnayon Palay Price Support Program offers an annual interest rate of two percent and the loan is payable for three years.
The program has been conceptualized to help resource-poor farmers in Iloilo who were affected by the decline of the farm gate price of palay following the enactment of Rice Trade Liberation Act.
This loan program provides for a working capital to cooperatives and associations for the procurement of fresh and clean palay directly from resource-poor farmers at a stable support price of P14 per kilo or at a prevailing market price, whichever is higher.
Dingle Multipurpose Cooperative (DMC) general manager Marilou Gonzaga said they decided to apply for the program to increase their capital, expand their palay trading business and help their farmer-members and non-members.
DMC has a total of 1,065 members, 700 of which were farmers with a total rice land area of 736 hectares producing approximately 58,880 sacks per cropping.
“We have been in palay trading business since 1997 and this has helped us sustain the operation of our cooperative,” she said.
Their farmer’s cooperative was also an accredited farm service provider in Dingle.
Compared to the National Government’s program and that of the commercial banks, Gonzaga was thankful of the creation of the program because it offers the cheapest interest rate in the loans they have availed so far.
DMC was a Gawad Lingap awardee of the Department of Agriculture and it has been chosen by DA to pilot test their Corporate Rice Farming Program. (PR)