DA Proposes P50-Billion Accessible Credit Facility for Farmers under Pres. Duterte


Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture shared a brilliant proposal to solve the rampant problems of inaccessible credit facility for ordinary farmers by proposing a P50-Billion accessible Credit Facility.


In an official statement released by the Department of Agriculture, Sec. Piñol revealed that over the years the national government failed know how hard it is for an ordinary farmer and fisherman to avail of production loans offered by government lending facilities.

Sec. Piñol revealed that although the DA and the national government has many lending programs, the loan availment by farmers and fisher folks is very low.

According to Sec. Manny, when he became the Secretary of Agriculture he found out that aside from the much-abused Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) loaning program f the DA, the department has atleast sever other loaning programs.

All of these loan programs use conduit banks or cooperatives so that farmers could avail of the loans because the DA and the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the agency which handles the credit program of the department could not directly extend loans. The requirements are stringent and the interest rates are very high.

Secretary Piñol proposed to the Congressional Committee on Credit Policy and Small and Medium Enterprises the enactment of a law which would create a lending facility which could help farmers and fisher folks immediately.

Here's the Complete Statement of DA Sec. Manny Piñol:

Available anytime
DA PROPOSES P50- B ACCESSIBLE
CREDIT FACILITY FOR FARMERS

By Manny Piñol

Over the years, I have long suspected that many of our policy makers do not know how hard it is for an ordinary farmer and fisherman to avail of production loans offered by government lending facilities.

My suspicions were confirmed when I became Secretary of Agriculture as I discovered that while government has many lending programs, the loan availment by farmers and fisher folks is very low.
Take for example the P4-B Sikat Saka Loan Program offered by the Dept. of Agriculture through the Land Bank of the Philippines for the rice farmers in the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Iloilo and North Cotabato.

While the repayment rate is very high, only about 12,511 rice farmers have availed of the loan program out of roughly 4.5-million rice farmers all over the country.

Just how important is a credit facility for ordinary farmers and how does it affect productivity?
Without financial support from government, a rice farmer would prefer to use his local seeds over good hybrid seeds and the difference in production alone is about 4 metric tons per harvest per hectare.

Farmer selected seeds could only produce 4 metric tons at best while the hybrid seeds could produce as much as 8 to 10 metric tons per hectare per harvest.
Without financial support, a rice farmer would use only 2 bags of fertilisers, instead of the recommended 6 to 8 bags because he squeezes whatever little funds he has.
The difference is easily 1 to 2 metric tons in production.
Without financial support, a rice farmer will just sit down and cry when his rice field is attacked by black bugs, rats or even diseases because he has no funds immediately available to implement farm interventions.

The problem actually is not the lack of funds to be loaned out to the farmers and fisher folks but the system through which the money amounting in the billions of pesos are made available to them through loans.

When I became Secretary, I found out that aside from the much-abused Agricultural Competetiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) loaning program, the Dept. of Agriculture has at least seven other loaning programs.

All of these loan programs use conduit banks or cooperatives so that farmers could avail of the loans because the Dept. of Agriculture and the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the agency which handles the credit program of the department could not directly extend loans. The requirements are stringent and the interest rates are very high.

Aside from that, the processing period is very long and before a farmer could get a loan to stop the rat infestation in his farm, the rodents would have already eaten up everything or before he could get money to buy fertilisers, the period for the application of fertilisers would have already passed.

On Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture proposed to the Congressional Committee on Credit Policy and Small and Medium Enterprises the enactment of a law which would create a lending facility which could help farmers and fisher folks immediately.

I presented to the Committee chaired by Cong. Peter Unabia of Misamis Oriental a program which I called Farmers and Fishermens Quick Credit Facility which would offer a maximum of P25,000 per hectare for small farmers and a sufficient amount for fishermen who would like to buy fishing gears.
The key feature of this proposal is its ready availment by farmers and fisher folks. The interest rate should be no more than 6%, unlike some government loan programs now which charge between 15% to 36% interest rates.

As the Dept. of Agriculture is now finalising its registry of fishermen and farmers all over the country, all that the applicants would need to present are their identification cards complete with biometrics and a passbook to avail of the loan.

No collateral would be required and the loans will have to be released in a maximum period of three days, which is what President Rody Duterte has set as the longest the clients of government should wait for the processing of documents.

My proposal is that the FFQCF will establish outlets in key food production areas in the country which would make it easily accessible.

The outlets will not only offer cash loans but also farming and fishing items like hybrid seeds, fertilisers, farm inputs and fishing gears.

In short, the FFQCF will serve as the farmers' and fishermen's Go-To facility for all of their needs to improve their production.

I proposed an initial loan fund of P50-B in addition to all the other funds available under the other loan programs which I said should be consolidated and placed under the FFQCF.

The good news is that all the members of the Committee under Cong. Unabia agreed to endorse the Dept. of Agriculture proposal and asked the Secretary of Agriculture to submit a draft bill which the committee will introduce to the plenary for approval.

I have also promised them that I will ask President Duterte to certify the bill as urgent so that the program could be included in the 2018 General Appropriations Act.
I am excited about this measure because I believe that when government makes credit and financing readily available to the farmers and fiisherfolks, it will mean an increase in food production.

#Changeishere! #PresRodyCares! #DuterteDelivers!

Source: Manny Pinol FB Page
 

DA Proposes P50-Billion Accessible Credit Facility for Farmers under Pres. Duterte DA Proposes P50-Billion Accessible Credit Facility for Farmers under Pres. Duterte Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 2/15/2017 Rating: 5

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