Harvesting corn is the primary source of income for Filipino farmers in Ilagan, Isabela. NFI’s mission is to raise the standard of living of Filipino farmers from subsistence level to stable and sustainable economic health. Predatory lenders prevent farmers from realizing their full profit and market prices on their crops. Before NFI arrived in 2008, the only source of financing was from agricultural businesses and bank who would charge usurious interest rates of 30 to 40%. Often the majority of the farmers’ profit would be consumed by these unfair business practices. NFI offers these farmers an alternative. Through donations, we have been able to offer loans to farmers at ten percent (10%) interest with grace causes for catastrophic events and without restrictions on their surplus disposition. The interest the farmer’s pay is reinvested into helping additional farmers with reasonable rate and term loans. As farmers accumulate savings their loan amounts are decreased allowing the farmer to use more of his own capital, thereby, motivating the farmer to become financially independent.
Over the past few years it has become evident that the unpredictable climate with Typhoons and monsoon rain has made farming very risky. This has led us to explore a variety of new livelihood programs.
Feed Mill making pig and chicken food – Currently operating since May 2011
Pig Farming (raising piglets) – Currently operating since June 2011
Fish Pond (Tilapia, catfish) – Currently under construction
Sausage Mill (making pork sausage to sell in the village) – Coming soon
One of our first ventures was to make it possible for famers to raise pigs without having to come up with a large sum of money in the beginning. They take piglets and raise them using feed that is possessed through our own feed mill. When the piglet is grown they sell it enabling them to pay the purchasing price and cost of feed and keeping a profit.