Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA awards P215.5-M agri projects to SOCCSKSARGEN farmer groups, LGUs

Author: DA-AFID | 3 August 2017

“We are giving you these equipment because we would like to fully mechanize farming in the Philippines before the end of the term of President Duterte.”

This was the message of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol at the Tapatan: Gobyerno at Mamamayan—a face-to-face dialogue with agri-stakeholders and local government executives—held at Tupi Research and Experiment Station in Barangay Bololmala, Tupi, South Cotabato on July 31, 2017.

Piñol, together with officials from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 12, handed over 215.5 million pesos worth of farm machineries, postharvest facilities and other projects to farmer groups and local government units (LGUs) of the SOCCSKSARGEN Region

“We are giving out these tools to you without any collateral on the condition that you will use it and make the most out of it,” Piñol said.

In his speech, Pinol introduced the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program, which he himself conceptualized to empower farmers and fishers by providing them easy access to credit under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).

“This program promotes greater productivity, and will eventually reduce farmers’ dependency on dole outs from the government. With access to an efficient credit program, I am positive that you will be able to carry out your respective livelihood projects,” Piñol said.

The Secretary revealed that the DA has allotted P2.5 billion for its loaning program.

A rice farmer who wish to produce hybrid rice may avail of the ACPC loan amounting to P15,000 per hectare of rice land to be used for seeds, fertilizer and other farm inputs.

The loan, available to all farmers registered under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, is payable in two years, no collateral, with only six percent (6%) interest per annum and free PhilHealth insurance.

During his visit, the Secretary also committed a P120-M budget for credit loans to the provinces of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat through Governors Daisy Avance Fuentes and Datu Pax Mangudadatu, respectively. In return both governors committed 4,000 hectares of land to be allotted to hybrid rice production.

The Secretary is optimistic that the country will reach the rice self-sufficiency target by the end of 2019, with four million hectares planted to rice.

Of the total agri-fishery interventions distributed to SOCCSKSARGEN farmer groups and LGUs, P94.6-M is intended for rice production which includes farm machineries such as 21 combine harvesters, 21 floating tillers, and 28 mini-four wheel drive tractors. The corn industry players were awarded P80-M worth of projects including 14 corn mills and five tractors; P11.3-M for high value crops; P9.2-M for livestock; P1.2-M under organic agriculture program; P197,000 by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division; and P18.6-M for the government’s peace-building program PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA Program).

The PCIC also awarded P300,000 insurance claims. ### (Jo Ann Grace B. Pera, DA-AFID)

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