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Farmer-partners at the Location Specific Technology Development (LSTD) project sites of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are receiving more benefits with the Institute`s forged partnership with a micro-financing organization.

Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development, Inc. (APPEND), through its affiliate, Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), initially released more than P700,000 to about 45 farmers in Bulacan and Aurora for this year’s dry season. APPEND is the country’s first non-government organization focusing on Christian development.

ASKI, a micro-financing provider in Luzon, provides crop loans to eligible LSTD farmer-partners for a minimum of three years.

Dr. Aurora M. Corales, the partnership initiator, said loans could still be extended until the farmers’ group is officially registered as an organization.

“Operations of ASKI are limited in Luzon. To reach other farmers, APPEND, its mother organization will set-up syndicated fund to assist farmers across the country,” she said.

Based on the agreement, farmers who participated in a season-long PalayCheck Field School and rice science and production training will be prioritized.

Corales also said that APPEND and its partners will develop and facilitate market linkage for the produce of LSTD farmers through value-chain financing.

Virgina P. Juan, APPEND president and CEO, hoped that the partnership will create more farming communities with good production, increased income, and profitable market.

PhilRice and ASKI started its partnership in 2005 when the micro-financing organization helped the women in Sta. Monica, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija earn additional income by producing and marketing rice-based food products.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute