The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched a loan program to help rice farmers.
To help rice farmers with their planting or other crop-related funding, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched a program that will help them to easily get funding in times of need. DA
Secretary Manny Piñol explained that the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) credit facilities are aimed at helping farmers avoid “loan sharks” and traders who charge very high interest rates and leave them in perpetual debts.
The program is established in cooperation with the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and the National Food Authority (NFA).
Piñol explained, “The PLEA program is the government’s intervention to provide farmers an option to their “cash advance” requirements which they usually get from loan sharks and local traders who charge between 5% to 10% interest rates per month.”
Piñol added that the PLEA is open to farmers who agree to sell their crops exclusively to NFA.
Under the credit facility, farmers will enjoy collateral-free loans with low interest rates and reasonable payback schedules. Over a six-month period, the loan charges only 3%. Each farmer may loan up to P50,000, payable after harvest season.
Piñol said that farmers interested to avail of the loan program only need to visit any nearest NFA office to register.
“As soon as he is registered, the DA, through the Information and Communication Technology Service (ICTS), will conduct a validation of his farm location, the size of land and his projected production through aerial mapping, geo-tagging and geo-referencing,” Piñol said.
The farmers would be asked to sign an agreement with the NFA to guarantee that his crops would only be sold to NFA. The agency would also be allowed to deduct from the proceeds of his crops the amount loaned.
The program is set to launch in Sultan Kudarat province on Tuesday, January 29.