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Leyte farmers, fisherfoks get AkBay loans

By Provincial Media Relations Center
September 16, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  A number of farmers and fishermen from three towns in Leyte are the recent recipient of the Akbay Project Fund (Agrikutura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy Program) who availed of the no-collateral, no-interest loan assistance to finance their agri-business projects.

Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla together with the Provincial Agriculturist Office of the Leyte province personally handed the checks to farmers and fishermen from Inopacan, Hindang and Bato towns, all of Leyte province.

The AKBAY program is a mechanism for poverty alleviation given to identified provinces through the provision of livelihood and employment opportunities and augmenting the source of income of the farm households.

It also aims to strengthen the capabilities of marginalized sectors to involve and empower them in decision making processes.

AKBay was funded by the Japanese government under the Japan Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project for underprivileged farmers, and was meant to be lent to the farmers as initial investment for their agri-business.

As stipulated in the AKBay program guidelines, the money received must be spent for the recipient’s approved project proposal in five days after receipt, to finance projects such as piggery, poultry, high-value crops, or tilapia production, and backyard piggery, it was learned.

All six provinces of Eastern Visayas have been identified as among the 31 provinces chosen as priority recipients of the AKBay program. The province-recipients were identified in the government’s Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program and in the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey as having the most number of subsistence poor or food-poor families.

Only the 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities in the priority provinces are covered by the program, says Leyte Provincial Agriculturist Roger Fortula.

Meanwhile, Gov. Petilla advised the new recipients to “use the fund wisely” in order to pay it off in the accorded time.

“The fund is going to be rolled over so that other farmers can also benefit from it, thus, this loan should be invested wisely,” the governor said.