Various Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) supported by Project ConVERGE (Convergence for Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment) in regions 9, 10, and Caraga presented their financial portfolios during the Financiers’ Forum last July 15, 2021.  

In Region 9 alone, an estimated amount of 2.3 million pesos is needed by five ARBOs to fully operationalize their enterprises in the current value chains.

ARBOs are requesting for working capital to support their rubber trading. At the moment, rubber farmers of Zamboanga are able to consolidate up to 730 metric tons (MT) of rubber cup lumps, but have yet to secure the funds needed to stabilize the trading operations with the said volume. If granted, the aid will strengthen the rubber trading for 5 ARBOs located in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay and are consolidating the produce for their respective neighboring organizations. As the trading is intensified, ARBO managers foresee higher volumes of trade, sales and income, which encourages more participation from their farmer-members as incentives and benefits increase.

This major event poses as a great opportunity to link the cooperatives with the financiers that could be of match to their respective enterprise.

“With the project on its final phase of implementation, we want to provide our beneficiaries with aid that safeguards sustainability of their enterprise even after the project closes. This event is just one of the many stepping stones for our ARBOs to prepare and present themselves to the market,” said DAR Regional Director Atty. Ramon Madroñal, Jr.

The Financiers’ Forum is this year’s first project-wide conference to promote the ARBOs’ enterprise portfolios to various financial institutions. The pursuance of this forum is backed with the need of financial aid from said ARBOs, who still require certain amounts of working capital to aid them in their enterprise production, marketing, and sustainability. With Project ConVERGE in its last year, the Forum is one of the strategies developed to scale up the marketing of their enterprise and to establish possible partnerships with institutions.

Three ARBOs under the Salipyasin ARC Cluster in Zamboanga Sibugay and two under the Resettlement ARC Cluster in Zamboanga del Norte attended.

Meanwhile, financial institutions such as Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), Rural Bank of Rizal (RBR), and other conduit financial institutions also attend.

About the Project

The Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE) is a six-year project implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), funded by the Philippine government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Its goal is to improve and sustain the gains of the agrarian reform program by supporting the services of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the different clusters of the Region through various interventions such as farm input provisions, training, and establishing partnerships with new markets. Region 9’s enterprise commodities are rice and rubber.

About IFAD

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in developing countries. It works in remote rural areas of the world to help countries achieve the millennium development goals. Through low-interest loans and grants, IFAD develops and finances projects that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves.

July 15, 2021