DA releases funds for agricultural loans

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) has recently released a P1-billion fund through a flexible credit facility to provide agricultural loans to marginalized farmers and fisherfolk in the poorest provinces across the country.

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Under the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Program (AFFP), the DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) aims to provide direct loans to more than 40,000 marginalized farmers and fishermen who are presently unable to access credit due to stringent requirements and payment terms.

“The program aims to enhance financial inclusion of the rural poor, particularly those who belong to the agriculture sector, as a means to bring about more inclusive growth,” ACPC Executive Director Jovita Corpuz said.

Corpuz added that AFFP alo provides funds for capacity building, technical assistance, credit guarantee, marketing, and monitoring and evaluation in coordination with other concerned government agencies and institutions. Recently, the ACPC turned over to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and People’s Credit and Finance Corp. (PCFC) P550 million and P450 million, respectively.

The LBP will lend directly to farmer and fisherfolk borrowers, while PCFC will lend to its accredited borrower organizations, to be accessed by farmers and fisherfolk. The five-year program will be offered exclusively to non-agrarian reform beneficiaries who can borrow any amount of not more than P300,000 depending on their needs, Corpuz said. The mode of payment may be quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, based on cash flow of their project.

A monthly interest of 1.25 percent or annual rate of 15 percent is set. The loan term will be based on the crop production or project cycle of the borrower, but will not exceed five years.

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