Empowering Marginalized Farmers Through ‘Village Banking'
Agriculture|September 2017

IN THE REMOTE AREAS of the country, it is evident that a majority of the farmers have very limited resources, and it can sometimes come down to a choice between financing the improvement of their farms to attain better yields or to pay for their family’s urgent or emergency needs.

Julio P. Yap, Jr.

Recognizing the needs of these marginalized farmers—particularly those in the barangays of San Carlos City and in Don Salvador Benedicto, both in Negros Occidental—the Multi Sectoral Alliance for Development-Negros (MUAD-Negros) has developed and implemented a project dubbed “Promoting Sustainable Farm Commodity and Market Enhancement (ProSCoPE)” to enhance the capacity of its farmer members to enhance their farming enterprises.

According to Reynic Alo of MUAD- Negros, the novel project was implemented through funding support provided by WE Effect-Swedish Cooperative Center. We Effect is an international organization which believes that poverty can be alleviated by empowering individuals and organizations, creating improved income levels, better and more sustainable farming, adequate housing, and equal rights for all.

To effectively pursue the initiative, MUAD-Negros adopted a workable framework in an effort to focus on identified problems—capitalization, production, marketing of the produce, and promotion of gender equality to help the farmers.

Regarding the aspect of capitalization or financing, Alo says that before giving the marginalized farmers access to substantial loans from outside sources, they should first be educated on the proper way of saving for an intended investment while preparing for unforeseen needs, and how to pay their loans religiously.

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