The Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations assisted by the Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE) Project are anticipating for a major boost on their enterprises after the conduct of a virtual Financing Forum last July 15, 2021.

Initiated by Project ConVERGE, the main objective of the said forum is to provide venue for ARBOs to present the businesses and financing needs of the 15 enterprises covered by the entire project across Regions IX, X and XIII. The virtual Financing Forum was attended by Financing Institutions like the Land Bank of the Philippines, Agricultural Production Credit Program, Rural Bank of Medina and the Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

The Need for Financing

The commodities involved in the project, namely: rubber, rice, abaca, coco sugar, cassava, corn, muscovado sugar, coconet and coffee are being ventured by the ARBOs under Project ConVERGE. However, a major challenge to be resolved by the enterprises in order to fully upscale their operations is the insufficient or lack of working and production capital. Limited production capital among ARBOs generally lead to unsecure supply of raw materials and compromised farm productivity, while the inability to absorb farmer-members’ produce and failure to meet the targeted market-share are the results of insufficient working capital for buying and trading.

Anchored by these concerns, the business plans, financing portfolios and financing needs of the enterprises were introduced to the financing institutions during the forum. The consolidated financing needs for all the enterprises amounted to Php47.18 Million.

Forum outcomes

The proposals of the enterprises were all accepted by the financing institutions engaged during the forum. For Region IX, a total of Php11.2 Million for financing assistance were proposed by the ARBOs, now subject to formal applications and credit/bank investigations by the FI partners.

The 6 ARBOs of Region X proposed for financing assistance worth Php 23.9 Million in total, and will be directed to the submission of loan requirements, visitations and formal discussions.

For Region XIII, the financing assistance proposed by its 3 ARBOs amounted to Php 12.03 Million, which are now subject for the submission of financial statements and loan requirements.

Looking ahead to upscaled ConVERGE enterprises

With the results of the Financing Forum, Project ConVERGE National Project Director looks forward to further developments on the project’s enterprises in the future. “The project’s activities and provisions specifically in terms of value chain equipment, rural infrastructure, training programs and workshops and other forms of assistance have always been directed to the upscaling of the enterprises. But with the assistance on production and working capital, the ARBOs are bound to expand their capabilities in a larger scale that shall lead to improved profitability and higher income among farmer-members”, Director Mambuay said. He also expressed his gratitude to the Financing Institutions who considered the proposals of the ARBOs and are willing to cater their financing needs.

By Charlemagne Kierra Rubillos