THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-North has further capacitated its assisted agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (Arbos) by initiating financial literacy seminars.

A total of 50 farmer-members of A&G Esteban Farmers Association in Barangay San Miguel in Murcia were recently trained to become financial moguls prior to the mobilization and release of loan.

Project lead implementer and point-person Vera Peral, also of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), who spoke at the seminar, said the project will financially assist ARBs in managing and growing their one to three hectares of rice fields.

"We know that this project will be successful due to your diligence in farming," she told farmer-beneficiaries.

PBDD officer-in-charge Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rizalina Yuguing, in a statement, said through the training, they were instilling to the ARBs their responsibility to pay their financial dues on time.

She also underscored the need for them to maintain their association's good and credible credit standing in their rice production.

The DAR has partnered with the LandBank of the Philippines (LBP) for the implementation of Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (Afford-ARBs) program.

The program aims to assist about 58,000 certificate of land ownership award (Cloa) holders.

The DAR, by doing the legwork, will identify other eligible Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) beneficiaries targeted to avail the said credit assistance.

The Afford-ARBs comes with an affordable interest rate at six percent per annum for short-term loans.

It will cater to the ARBs engaged in rice, corn and high-value crop production, and has a total of P5 billion to provide credit to the ARBs at affordable cost, including development assistance and marketing support.

DAR-Negros Occidental I said the agency through its PBD Division constitutes development and support services interventions by the provision of training programs and construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities.

"Access of ARB households to basic social services is also included in this sector to ensure holistic support for the farmer-beneficiaries," it added.