JICA-funded project for Mindanao farmers launched

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 December) — The Japanese non-government organization Planet Finance and the Mindanao Microfinance Council launched last week a three-year project on improving financial access for small farmers as one way of reducing poverty in the island.

Luna Nagatomo, project manager of Planet Finance Japan, said during the launch at Marco Polo Davao Hotel that it would be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with an allocation of ¥ 64,275,000 (P115.952 million if P1= ¥1.80401186).

She said the objective of the project is to strengthen the microfinance institutions’ capacity to increase their outreach to small farmers in Mindanao. It will be implemented in Regions 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Some 20,000 small farmers in the island will benefit from the project through the technical assistance that the NGO will provide to the microfinance institutions.

The briefer of the project cited that the “technical assistance is necessary to improve financial access of small scale farmers in the region.” The partner microfinance institutions will be capacitated to provide financial literacy training to their clients.

Among the activities of the three-year project are market research, product development and pilot testing of agriculture microfinance, training of financial literacy and provision of technical assistance in institutionalizing social performance management.

Jeffrey Ordoñez, executive director of Mindanao Microfinance Council, said the technical assistance from Planet Finance Japan is necessary to improve the financial access of the small farmers especially in the island.

“We are eyeing to have a good start on this project next year,” he said. (MindaNews)