RBAP-MABS Program trains Mindanao rural banks on Agriculture Microfinance

MAP training 2Being relatively typhoon-free compared with the Luzon and Visayas regions, Mindanao is ideal for agricultural activities. Crops such as bananas, cacao, solo papayas, pineapple and coconut have been important exports to other countries. Vegetable farming linked to institutional buyers as important actors within the product value chain have been gaining a foothold among small farmers in provinces like Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.

Although rice is still among the primary crops that many small farmers continue to produce, six (6) MABS participating banks are taking the steps to approaching agricultural finance  through the lens of value chain.  Seventeen representatives from six banks attended the 7th roll-out training on Micro-Agri Finance for Mindanao banks conducted by the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program. Held in Cagayan de Oro City on February 23-25, the training was the first of a two-phase training course.

Using interactive and hands-on approach, the participants learned the tools of market research to analyze and understand their markets, identify priority agri products in their service areas, and apply the value chain tool for analyzing specific agriculture products.

MAP training 1The market research activity engaged the participants in interviewing corn and vegetable farmers in the Municipality of Claveria in Misamis Oriental.  For many of the participants, the face-to-face interviews with farmers, data processing, and analysis of these results showed the importance of obtaining market information, especially in developing their micro agri loan and goal-related savings products geared to serving small farmers.