Camp Aquino, Tarlac City, 16 Nov. 2023 – The Northern Luzon Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, in partnership with Rice Up Farmers Incorporated, and Sakahon launched an agribusiness training program for the Malayang Magbubukid ng Hacienda Luisita (MALAYA) in Tarlac on November 16, 2023, at Barangay Balete, Tarlac City.
The training that will run for 15 days will be attended by 100 farmers who will undergo comprehensive community-based training programs on financial literacy management from November 16 to December 16, 2023, at Barangay Balete Tarlac City, enabling them to become more efficient and effective in their respective agricultural enterprises.
The agribusiness training under the NOLCOM project “KaPALAYpaan” aimed at empowering the MALAYA farmers and seeks to boost their agricultural productivity and improve their livelihood.
The Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC3) and its private partners are currently providing various forms of interventions to the MALAYA, who were once members and supporters of the Communist Terrorist Group and NOLCOM is prioritizing them, particularly with their ongoing reintegration into the community and in their livelihood.
Together with its stakeholders, the Northern Luzon Command, AFP ensures that these farmers can apply what will they learn from the training and will have capital to establish their agricultural enterprises.
“With the government and its private partners, we are committed to supporting sustainable agriculture and rural development, and we are hopeful that upon completion of the training program, these farmers will be provided with financial assistance to start their local agri-business, and no matter how small it is, it will surely boost food security and foster peace and community development,” said NOLCOM Commander LtGen Fernyl G. Buca, PAF.
RiceUp Farmers Incorporated Inc, a social enterprise project that allows farmers to directly connect with consumers assured its support of the farmers’ development goals.
“Once you have completed the training, we will assist you in obtaining a bank loan with zero percent interest to start your agricultural enterprise,” assured Mr Elvin Laceda CEO, RiceUp Farmers Incorporated and president of Young Farmers Challenge Club Inc.
The farmers also conveyed their gratitude for empowering them and providing avenues for them who are seeking to engage in agribusiness.
NOLCOM, AFP, expressed appreciation to RiceUP Farmers Incorporated for the partnership and volunteerism to bring opportunities closer to the farmers. It will ensure the success of the training program as it fosters community development and establishes peace and prosperity in rural areas. This is also in support of the implementation of the whole-nation approach to ending local communist armed conflict and sustaining the gains of the community support program of the NOLCOM AFP in the region.