The MAFAR completes the distribution of SURE COVID loans to 2,500 beneficiaries after serving the last 200 of the target 400 farmers from Maguindanao on September 18, 2020 held at the Covered Court of the ministry.

The beneficiaries were the farmers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of them received Php25,000-worth of loan check from the MAFAR-BARMM funded through the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC).

The distribution of the capital assistance was part of the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program (Sure COVID 19) through ALPAS or ‘Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat’ designed for Small Farmers and Fisherfolk to use as their starting fund to finance their farming activities and recover after the crisis caused by the Pandemic.

Without interest, the loaning program is payable in 10 years with no collateral and is hoped to help the farmers rebuild their livelihood and continually fight against the global crisis.

Minister Mohammad S. Yacob said that the loaners deserve to be part of the program since they are partners in the struggle to realize the recent government of the BARMM. He then shared the challenges faced and addressed by the ministry to ensure that farmers in the province can avail of the program.

He also reminded all the beneficiaries to be more responsible in paying their debts to continue the partnership and ensure the continuity of the program.

The MAFAR Chief encouraged all the beneficiaries to cooperate with the MAFAR officials and the lending conduit to be one in attaining success for the Bangsamoro Region. He further declared that the MAFAR proposed another Php100-million budget allocation to cater and help more batches of farmers.

Minister Yacob shared the good news in the rice sector of the region as the PSA published that the production of rice for the first quarter of the year increased by 15.61%. He hoped that the information will inspire the farmers to strive more to maintain high production in the BARMM.

The actual releasing of the loan checks was managed by the lending conduit Organization for Industrial, Spiritual, and Cultural Advancement Farmers Association for Ranao Muslim (OISCA FARM) Multipurpose Cooperative led by its Manager Abdulsalam S. Batao and assisted by Noraine S. Dumasil, MAFAR Regional SURE Aide and ACEF Focal Person.

Manager Batao reminded every farmer loaner to save money every day to facilitate the payment of their loans. He said the farmers may pay in different ways such as bank deposit through AMANA Bank or paying in any remittance centers. “We cannot realize bigger achievements if we are not able to sustain simple responsibilities”, advised Manager Batao.

Batao urged the beneficiaries to use the amount they received for worthwhile and profitable ventures like farming and raising animals to get more benefits and to sustain their capital.

The last batch of farmer-beneficiaries came from the municipalities of Guindulungan, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Sultan Kudarat, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Guindulungan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, South Upi, Talayan, all in Maguindanao.

The activity was also attended by Engr. Ismail A. Guiamel, Assistant to the Minister for Opertions, Dr. Taugan S. Kikay, MAFAR Consultant for Special Concerns, Abdulnasser K. Badawi, MAFAR-Maguindanao Provincial Head, Lindy Cati-ir, ACPC Focal Person for BARMM, and other technical staff of the MAFAR-BARMM.

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