Friday, September 30, 2016

DA sets P200-M credit line for poorest farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allocated an initial funding of P200 million for a credit system focusing on farmers and fisherfolks of the country’s top 10 poorest provinces.

The DA launched the Program for Unified Lending to Agriculture (PUNLA) that will provide non-collateralized loans for agri-fishery production and agri-micro finance.
“This is part of the government’s effort to provide trouble-free services to rural communities, as we want to make things easier for them,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Piñol said the current credit system is not entirely convenient for farmers as it has too many requirements.

Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) executive director Alma Badiola said borrowers may avail of up to P150,000 loan at an interest rate of six percent with one-year maturity. 

The loan will be made available thru farmers’ organizations, cooperatives or non-government organizations.

Bandiola said an institutional capability building training would be provided to conduits prior to the approval and release of loans “to enable them to implement the credit system effectively.”

An insurance coverage under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. will also be made available.

The program will be implemented in Apayao, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato, Saranggani, Maguindanao, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, and Northern Samar – the country’s top 10 poorest provinces based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The department’s focus on the country’s top 10 poorest provinces is in line with the Duterte’s administration thrust of increased food production and poverty alleviation.
Through a strategy called Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), Piñol said the DA would look at the weaknesses of an area, its potentials in food production and provide livelihood programs.


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